Shootings way up in two weeks
Bullets are flying over Broadway -- and everywhere else in the city.
The number of people shot surged 154 percent two weeks ago -- to 56 from 22 over the same week last year -- and spiked 28 percent in the last month.
Last week tallied another increase in victims -- 22 people had been hit through Friday, including the three victims gunned down outside a Brooklyn school Friday.
Last year, only 17 shooting victims were logged for the entire week.
The recent gunplay has now pushed the number of shooting victims this year slightly above last year’s tragic tally -- to 1,484 from 1,451 -- through Oct. 16.
Four high-ranking cops point the finger at Occupy Wall Street protesters, saying their rallies pull special crime-fighting units away from the hot zones where they’re needed.
Since Occupy Wall Street took over Zuccotti Park on Sept. 17, the NYPD has relied heavily on its borough task forces, the department’s go-to teams for rowdy crowds.
But such protest duty takes the special units away from their regular jobs -- patrolling public housing and problem spots and staking out nightclubs plagued by violence, supervisors said.
“Normally, the task force is used in high-crime neighborhoods where you have a lot of shootings and robberies,” said one source.
“They are always used when there are spikes in crime as a quick fix. But instead of being sent to Jamaica, Brownsville and the South Bronx, they are in Wall Street.”
Another NYPD boss is troubled by the resulting slowdown in stop-and-frisks.
When OWS marches, as many as 3,000 cops a day could be called on to keep the peace. That’s about 10 percent of the total force.
“The city is going crazy with demonstrations and protests, and I’m lucky if I can get four cars out there,” said Deputy Inspector Ted Berntsen, commander of the 13th precinct in Chelsea.
As the NYPD deals with depleted ranks, fewer thugs are going to jail. The Organized Crime Control Bureau -- an elite unit of hundreds of cops fighting drug dealers and gun runners -- has seen arrests plummet 19 percent this year.