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In an interview aired Friday on “Fox & Friends First,” Welsh told Lawrence Jones that violence was very prevalent when he started with the NYPD in 1991. In his first year, his precinct covered 89 homicides.
“Robberies were commonplace. Gunshots were commonplace. We’d drive on patrol at night and routinely hear gunshots,” he said. “It was all night long.”
He now believes violence in the city is returning to that level.
“People are afraid to walk down the street. Gunfire is common again,” he said.
Welsh attributed the return of violent crime to a “lack of will” from city leadership who he argues don’t want to see police effectively do their jobs.
He said police staffing was much lower now than when he first began his career and the public’s treatment of officers is worse.
“If you think that the social media and the media itself – the anti-police rhetoric over and over again calling us murderers and racists and everything else – if you think that doesn’t lead to violence, you’re in denial,” he said.
He called out Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for liberal policies that are contributing to the rise in crime.
“Unless we have a complete shift of attitude by the District Attorney’s Office and, more importantly, by the people of New York, it’s not going to change,” he warned.
D.A. Bragg’s office provided Fox News with a statement doubling down on his position that keeping communities safe and combating violent crime is a top priority.
Welsh, however, said crime rates won’t improve until city leadership and New Yorkers support law enforcement.
“It’s going to take the people of the city to back the cops,” he said.