Eric Adams blew an ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ to hire more cops: Curtis Sliwa

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Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams blew an “opportunity of a lifetime” to bolster the NYPD by rejecting President Biden’s offer of federal funds to hire more cops, GOP rival Curtis Sliwa charged Tuesday.

“I think it was of special significance that yesterday Eric Adams had an opportunity of a lifetime,” Sliwa, the Republican nominee for mayor, said at a Manhattan press conference about his opponent’s meeting with the president Monday on gun violence.

“Let’s face it, New York City typically has to beg on its hands and knees for money from the federal government,” the Guardian Angels founder said.

“Shame on you, Eric Adams, for turning down money that would help make people more safe in the streets, in the subways and the housing projects now. We would’ve seen immediate results. Now we’ve been told to wait.”

After the White House powwow Monday, Adams ignored Biden’s call to bulk up law enforcement to combat gun violence plaguing cities including New York.

“The first thing we need to do is to do an assessment of how we are using our police officers now. Far too many police officers are doing clerical duty. Far too many police officers are patrolling in groups,” Adams told reporters on the White House driveway.

Sliwa said he was puzzled by Adams’ stance, since the retired NYPD captain won the crowded Democratic primary with a largely pro-police message.  

“I scratched my head and said, ‘Eric Adams says he wants to re-fund the police. Eric Adams says that he’s law and order.’ How can you be law and order if you’re not gonna re-fund the police? And here was the money to actually do it,” Sliwa said.

Last year’s city budget slashed about $1 billion from NYPD coffers following progressive cries to “Defund the police” in the wake of George Floyd’s death. This year’s plan restored just $200 million to the department.

Sliwa noted that the NYPD has lost 5,300 officers in 2020 to attrition and early retirement amid an anti-cop climate. The force currently has 34,994 members. Sliwa said it should be raised to 38,000.

“Now just imagine if de Blasio, with the urgings of Eric Adams, had accepted the money now,” Sliwa said about the current mayor, who has close ties to his likely successor in a city where Democratic voters vastly outnumber Republicans.

“We could’ve had a brand new graduation group of cadets hitting the streets and the subways and public housing projects by October. This is what is desperately needed. If we wait until the inauguration, we won’t see any new police, if at all, probably until late spring,” Sliwa said.

“And quite frankly, looking at the clouds … hanging over City Hall, there will be a $5 billion looming debt that de Blasio leaves behind. I don’t think President Joe Biden is going to continue to make this offer.” Sliwa said about the mayor’s freewheeling spending.

Evan Thies, a spokesman for Adams, blasted Sliwa’s remarks.

“Unsurprisingly, Sliwa is lying about what the president said and what Eric said.

“Eric has repeatedly said he would deploy more police to patrol by taking them off of desk duty — and the president committed federal funds to pay for any overtime that may be necessary, which is a huge win for New Yorkers.

“Sliwa will continue to lie throughout this election about Eric’s record — but facts are facts and voters know that, as a former police officer, Eric’s record on and commitment to public safety are unmatched,” the spokesman said.

Additional reporting by Tina Moore

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