"I would tell folks to imagine the communities that you deem as safe. What does that look like? What do they have?"
A question posed by New York City's public advocate Jumaane Williams as part of a statewide look at gun violence. This, just hours after three crime scenes were cleared from a violent holiday weekend.
Police responded to emergency calls, but they cannot be everywhere at all times.
"We know that law enforcement has a role to play, but if you look at something like Times Square, it's probably one of the most policed places in the state, and we still see shootings," said Williams.
He says the argument is not "defunding" the police, but better equipping police to investigate, local services to help and communities to feel safer again.
“So, what you're describing is exactly what we're seeing is the complexity of what public safety is,” Williams explained.
A major issue is the red tape and legislation that would help fund those three parts and more. Something that is important, but less than immediate.
“What do I tell the families of these five people shot," asked Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick. "You know, they don't want to hear about bail reform and discovery reform. They want to know what are you doing to protect us.”
Fitzpatrick firmly believes in the power communities have to get out of this violent cycle.
“You need community support, you have to, I think, you have to go to the pulpit on Sunday and have the clergy as they have in the past at my request," Fitzpatrick said. "They have to tell people this is a public health crisis, and we have to do something about it.”
It should not surprise anyone that a conservative district attorney and a liberal public advocate agree when you hear numbers of shootings from the holiday weekend.
So many people are affected by these tragedies.
“In reality, many of them are going to suffer from PTSD," Fitzpatrick said. "They're going to be traumatized, and it's going to affect their cognitive skills and their behavior. For the, for the rest of their lives, and unless there's some type of intervention.”