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Mayoral Candidates Respond to the Shooting in Times Square

Weather: Sunny early, turning cloudy and breezy later, with scattered showers. High in the mid-60s.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Thursday (Solemnity of the Ascension and Eid al-Fitr).

A shooting near Seventh Avenue and West 45th Street on Saturday afternoon left three bystanders wounded: a 4-year-old Brooklyn girl who was shopping for toys with her family, a 23-year-old tourist from Rhode Island and a 43-year-old woman from New Jersey.

But coming six weeks before the June 22 mayoral primary, and as the city is gearing up to welcome back throngs of tourists, the episode quickly became more than just a disturbing act of violence in one of New York City’s most familiar locales.

Mayoral candidates said the shooting was emblematic of the city’s growing crime problem and moved quickly to showcase how they would address the issue.

[The shooting became a flash point in the race for mayor, further cementing public safety as a top political issue.]

Mr. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, said he would hire officers with the skills and temperament to work in a plainclothes anti-violence unit. Mayor Bill de Blasio disbanded such a unit last year. Mr. Adams would also create a special citywide prosecutor for illegal-gun cases.

“This gun violence has been real for countless New Yorkers for years, and as the chief executive, the mayor of the city, we can’t wait until crises happen in the center of Manhattan,” he said. “We have to respond before then.”

Ms. Garcia, a former sanitation commissioner, said she would increase community policing and boost an N.Y.P.D. division focused on identifying people or groups that traffic or sell illegal guns.

“We must see the full picture and prioritize efforts to prevent the underlying causes of crime, including access to jobs, housing, education, and by working with violence prevention programs at the community level,” she said.

Mr. Yang, a former presidential candidate, said he would reinstitute the plainclothes unit and populate it with better-trained officers with clean records. He said New York could not afford to “defund the police.”

“Nothing works in our city without public safety, and for public safety, we need the police,” Mr. Yang said. “My message to the N.Y.P.D. is this: New York needs you. Your city needs you.”

Mr. McGuire, a former Citi executive, said the city should increase the number of officers focused on reducing the number of guns available to people. He said courts should keep repeat offenders off the streets.

“As gun violence continues to rise in our city at alarming rates, the fix isn’t to defund and disarm, leaving the most vulnerable and often forgotten neighborhoods unprotected,” he said, “nor is the answer going back to Giuliani-era police tactics like some have suggested.”

Ms. Wiley, a former counsel to Mr. de Blasio, said she would invest in “trauma-informed” mental health care and in summer youth employment programs.

“We will right-size the New York City Police Department to focus on its job so it does it effectively and efficiently, because we have a police department that’s the size of an army,” she said.

Ms. Morales, a nonprofit executive, has said she wants to more than halve the Police Department’s operating budget.

“We need bigger solutions than the police,” she said on Twitter. “We have enough resources to finally address the conditions that got us here. This is our time to do just that.”

Mr. Stringer, the New York City comptroller, said on Twitter, “Once again we are witness to another terrible tragedy.”

“Enough,” he continued. “We must end gun violence in our communities, get guns off our streets, and enact change to keep New Yorkers safe.”

Mr. Donovan, a former White House budget director, said in a recent television interview that officers should be more focused on addressing gun violence than on ticketing motorists or addressing mental health issues.

A bill signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo restoring voting rights to formerly incarcerated people expands the number of eligible voters for the primary election. [Gothamist]

Vaccinations have helped drive down Covid-19 positivity rates and hospitalizations across New York State. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Monday that the number of hospitalizations statewide was 2,016, the lowest since Nov. 15. The statewide seven-day average rate of positive test results announced by the state on Sunday — 1.45 percent — was the lowest since Oct. 28.

But Mr. Cuomo warned that the pace of vaccinations was tapering off, both in New York and nationwide, potentially allowing the coronavirus to linger.

So New York, like other states and cities, is trying to get creative.

Mr. Cuomo announced a new pilot program to boost the flagging vaccination campaign: setting up temporary walk-in vaccination sites at eight subway and train stations for the next few days.

From Wednesday to Sunday, the walk-in sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 179th Street in Jamaica, Queens; East 180th Street in the Bronx; and at Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island, Brooklyn.

Another site will be open from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Broadway Junction in Brooklyn.

Sites at the Long Island Rail Road station in Hempstead and a Metro-North Railroad station in Ossining will be open from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Walk-in vaccination sites will also be open at Penn Station in Manhattan from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and at Grand Central Terminal from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

People vaccinated at the subway and rail locations can get a free seven-day MetroCard or two free one-way tickets for the Long Island Rail Road or Metro-North. Officials will use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the stations, Mr. Cuomo said, adding that the program may be extended.

It’s Tuesday — take a ride.

Dear Diary:

For my daily commute between Chelsea and the East Village, sometimes I walked, but mostly I took the subway.

I was on a mission to practice my drawing, and I filled many small sketchbooks with spontaneous portraits of riders as they napped, meditated and read.

Some riders enjoyed looking at my pencil marks, and I had many delightful, and occasionally rather meaningful, conversations.

One day, I noticed a young man in soldier’s fatigues watching me as I sketched a rider who was reading. When that person left the car, I began to glance around for my next sketching opportunity.

The young man in the fatigues placed himself directly across from me, smiled coyly, pointed at himself and posed.

He was proud, handsome and a great model. In the few minutes we had, I sketched him with care, hoping he would remain safe.

— Robin Kappy

New York Today is published weekdays around 6 a.m. Sign up here to get it by email. You can also find it at nytoday.com.

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