For years, the NYPD’s anti-gun unit wore plain clothes.
According to some in the community, this was a serious problem and simply couldn’t be tolerated. It was, apparently, just one of many problems they had with the unit, but it was a significant one.
So when it was announced that the unit was coming back amid a surge in violent crime, some were less than pleased.
However, it was also announced there would be a number of changes from the old unit, including that they’d be wearing a special uniform.
Now, the NYPD has revealed what that will look like.
The NYPD has unveiled uniforms for its revamped anti-crime unit — though the rollout of the key Adams administration initiative to quell soaring gun violence appears to have hit a snag, The Post has learned.
The look of Mayor Eric Adams’ new Neighborhood Safety Teams will stand in stark contrast to its plainclothes predecessor — the controversial anti-crime unit, according to photos of the approved uniforms in a police memo obtained by The Post.
Cops in the units will wear navy blue tactical pants, black boots or shoes with a polo shirt, quarter-zip sweatshirt or Neighborhood Safety vest that has NYPD clearly written on the back and front, along with patches bearing the officer’s name, shield, rank and command, according to the memo.
It’s optional for the cops to wear a baseball cap or knit hat with NYPD stitched in white, the memo adds.
Officers assigned to the old anti-crime unit, which was disbanded in 2020, wore street clothes and were only identifiable as police by the badge hanging around their necks or on their belts.
Police sources have said those plainclothes units were necessary to get the drop on people with guns because they blended in with the public. Police reform advocates, however, say those street clothes — as well as the unit’s aggressive tactics — often escalated situations because gunmen were confused as to whether they were cops or rivals.
Honestly, I don’t buy some of that crap.
I mean, I can believe they weren’t initially sure if they were dealing with cops or rivals. What I don’t buy is that it would have made all that much difference.
If these guys were ready to start blasting their rivals, it’s not difficult to believe they’d have started shooting uniformed officers as well.
Of course, we’ll get an opportunity to find out as the teams hit the streets with a name that sounds more likely they’re going to be making sure kids on bicycles are wearing helmets as opposed to going after some of the most dangerous crooks in the Big Apple.
But since they apparently volunteered for it, I guess it’s not my place to judge.
Hopefully, these teams will focus on actual criminals and not try to jam up honest gun owners who may slip up and make a mistake or something of that sort. Instead, there are people in the city who are real problems, so go after them and not the guy who just made a mistake and took a wrong turn into the city just to bump up arrest numbers.
We’ll have to see how it actually shakes out.