New York City Mayor Eric Adams said that city officials will begin involuntarily hospitalizing people with suspected mental illness in an effort to crack down on crime and homelessness.
"The common misunderstanding persists that we cannot provide involuntary assistance unless the person is violent," Adams said, according to the New York Times. "This myth must be put to rest. Going forward, we will make every effort to assist those who are suffering from mental illness and whose illness is endangering them by preventing them from meeting their basic human needs."
Adams said the city will work with hospitals to ensure that any patients who are brought in are held until they are stable and have agreed to a treatment plan. Currently, many psychiatric patients are released after just a few days, in part due to a lack of available beds.
Crime, especially in the subway system, has been steadily rising over the past year. However, officials noted that crime reports within the transit system dropped by 13% in November compared to October.
"Our officers are being re-acclimated to patrolling," Adams said. "They're being told what is expected of them with a clear message. And the police commissioner is going to be announcing some of the new initiatives that we're going to continue to do in our subway system. And we're excited about it, and we're moving in the right direction."