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Op-Ed: Who is in Control?

NYPD Officer (Unsplash)

April 27, 2021 Op-ed By John J. Ciafone

Crime is out of control in the City and in our neighborhoods.

Every day citizens are being victimized by the criminal element which is unabashed in committing violence. There is no more safety, whether at home, on the street or in the subways. We have succumbed to the criminal element.

We have our elected officials to thank for extreme bail reform laws which have placed violent and dangerous criminals on the streets. We have too many emotionally disturbed people roaming our streets because psychiatric wards and departments are being closed. For instance, an individual was able to be arrested three times and released, all within 24 hours.

Astoria has recently witnessed over five gun shootings with three deaths. One innocent, a mother of two, was walking home from Walgreens and was killed by a random bullet.

This is outrightly unacceptable! Our government, at a minimum, needs to provide safety to everyone in our community. Our government is failing to protect us while extending rights and privileges to criminals, whilst punishing innocent victims.

It all starts with the radical philosophy that is shared among politicians and people running for office— that the police are the enemy of society. They recklessly state that the police are inherently racist even though there has never been so much diversity in the rank and file of the NYPD.

They falsely state that the police are responsible for the oppression of African Americans and other minorities. These dangerous beliefs have resulted in unwarranted attacks against police with devastating results of looting in communities, in turn, hurting small businesses.

Our communities are only as good as the safety felt by each and every individual. Yet, these radicals want to de-fund the police and even eliminate the police altogether so that violent gangs and criminals will run our neighborhoods.

We can not demonize the police but need to support their mission in deterring and rooting out crime.  The radical philosophy calls for the elimination of all jails.  Where would we put our criminals—in hotels?

John J. Ciafone (Photo: QueensPost)

The radical agenda has extended into our schools. They want to jeopardize the safety of our children by eliminating school safety officers who protect our children.

Eliminating school safety officers supervised by the NYPD will result in increased crime and gun violence in schools and cause gangs to prey on our children. Our future is dependent upon our children and we can’t afford to endanger them.

Why do these radicals use a broad brush to attack the police?  While no doubt, there are bad police officers. There are also bad lawyers, doctors, judges, teachers and even politicians. So, should we eliminate all of these professions?

The hypocrisy is further buttressed by the City Council that requires police checkpoints and presence to protect the chamber. Comically, then we call for a war on guns but let out the gun violators on the streets through broken bail reform laws.

We cannot have a cookie cutter approach to the bail system. We must make judges accountable for releasing criminals. They should have the discretion, otherwise there is no need for criminal judges.

Most importantly, we can’t lose our communities to crime and the radical element that supports anarchy and bedlam. We can NOT allow gangs and criminals to run our streets, schools and neighborhoods.

John J Ciafone is a candidate for NYC Council District 22. He is running as a Democrat in the June 22 primary.

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stan chaz

What’s REALLYut of control is Mr. Ciafone’s hyperbole, and his Trunpian distortions of both reality and causation. In the midst of a year long pandemic, with so many desperate people in desperate situations, and with a court system that is just beginning to function once again, crime is remarkably low under the circumstances. City Councel candidate Ciaphon rails about reckless radicals painting thhe world with a broad brush! Quick, get this man a morror, ans iform him the psychitric wards were closed 30 years ago, not last year, whereas funding tohelp these unfortunates is dnie by si-called fiscal conservatives who don’t realize the true cost of social neglect. And please, please show me any mayoral candidate who claims that “the police are the enemy of the people” and I’ll show you a politician about as likely to get elected as Mr. Ciaphon. God, he even mimic’s Trunp’s language, enemy of the peopl, on of Stalin’s favorite phrases. .Some people will say anything to try to get elected, stirring up & exploited fear, hatred and division, when we have enough of that already. Should the words innocent until proven guilt and equal justice under the law mean that the poor who can’t afford bail rot in horrid places like Rikers (in a pandemic yet) because they can’t afford bail, while those who have the means are set free to await trial? NYC will rise and build back stronger and safer than ever, but what really concerns me us that the stolen Supreme Court new conservative majority will overturn New York’s gun control /gun carry laws in their next session, truly leaving us in a perilous situation, and puting the lives of both the police and the citizenry in danger, The conservative fun-house mirror version of law and order, ha. Just like January 6th….


“They recklessly state that the police are inherently racist even though there has never been so much diversity in the rank and file of the NYPD.” 61% of captains are white and above captain rank is 75% (these are numbers as of May 2020 btw). and while it is nominally true that diversity is increasing (“never been so much”), it doesn’t follow that the police force and policing in our city is not “inherently racist.” As someone attempting to be a representative, i would hope one would at least HEAR the concerns about police and policing rather than dismissing them as part of a “radical element.” He clearly has very little knowledge of the widely-held and nuanced positions concerning rethinking the roles of police and jail in our society, which is why he lashes out at them rather than engaging with them. Even if he came to the same conclusions at the end — that supporting the police will make us safer — we could at least say he arrived at that idea after having considered alternative perspectives.

He acknowledges that “our communities are only as good as the safety felt by each and every individual” yet fails to consider the lack of safety felt by many Black, Brown, and Indigenous New Yorkers because of their outsized experience of police violence and abuse. That is a reality that exists, and if one claims to want to represent a group of people, one should have at least the capacity to hear and consider their constituents perspectives rather than writing them off all together and demonizing them. And even though I fully disagree with his conclusions, to me THIS, this blunt lack of engagement, would make him not qualified as a representative…

jose sanchez

100% correct all these elected official think that by defunding the police we are going to be safe deregulate prostitution brings more crime taking bail bond is inviting criminal to a party closing Rikers island crazy

Derek Rosenfeld

The author says crime is out of control. If you look historically, we’re almost an all-time low in crime rates. And we’ve never had more police officers than we do today. So what’s his solution? Even *more* cops? What evidence is there that the number of police officers reduces or “roots out” crime, as he put it? Aren’t a large portion, or even possibly a majority, of people in jail there on a technical violation of parole, or pre-trial, meaning they haven’t been convicted of new crimes? This op-ed is full of stigmatizing language – from the purported “radicals” to the “criminals” labels he’s throwing around, there is truly nothing helpful in this piece.

jose sanchez

the question did you listen to the news shooting rape and all the crazy shooting happening every day you must be living on cage


He has the courage to state the truth, no matter how unpleasant. Inexperienced newcomers should not be allowed to ruin Astoria with a radical elite socialist experiment that rewards the lawless and the rowdy to the detriment of the safety and quality of life for working class families. After the immature anarchist transplants finish ruining Astoria they will move on to the next trendy neighborhood, leaving Astorians who were already here to mop up after their mistakes. I’ve had enough of the new normal in our overly-permissive society of dirt-bike gangs, fart-cars, year-long fireworks, constant package/bike thefts and violent mentally-ill homeless addicts stalking and sucker-punching people.


Why can’t boomers let the younger generations take some control. Just please stop it your time is over

Joe G

If only it was true! This man is one of deblasio’s biggest financial backers, a mayor who has made his contempt for the NYPD front and center of his agenda. Mr Ciafone doesn’t believe one word of what he has written here, he is merely pandering in his vain attempt to get elected to something!! Wasn’t he running for a judgeship just a heartbeat ago??


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