WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will visit New York City next week to discuss combating gun crime with Mayor Eric Adams, a meeting that will follow the recent fatal shooting of two city police officers.
The White House said Biden planned during the Feb. 3 meeting to discuss his administration’s “comprehensive strategy” to combat gun crime, including increased funding for cities and states to hire more police officers and pay for community violence prevention and intervention programs.
The strategy also includes beefing up federal law enforcement efforts against gun traffickers, the White House said.
Biden spoke with Adams by telephone on Monday night to offer his condolences over last Friday’s shooting of two New York Police Department officers, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said this week.
Officer Jason Rivera, 22, died the night of the shooting. His partner, Wilbert Mora, 27, was removed from life supporton Tuesday, four days after the officers were fatally wounded after they were called to a Harlem apartment by a woman who said she needed help with her adult son.
Authorities said the man, Lashawn J. McNeil, 47, opened a bedroom door and shot the officers as they walked down a narrow hall. A third officer shot McNeil as he tried to flee.
In anticipation of Biden’s visit, Adams said: “I look forward to welcoming President Biden to New York City next week and sitting down to discuss how we can work collaboratively to end the scourge of gun violence we are seeing on New York City streets.”
In recent days, a Houston-area constable deputy was shot and killed during a late-night weekend traffic stop, and a District of Columbia police officer was wounded in a separate shooting.
Psaki said the president told Adams, who has held office for less than a month, that he is committed to being a strong federal partner for New York City and other jurisdictions that have been struggling with increased gun crime during the past two years.
Earlier this week, and just days after the two officers were shot, Adams announced a planto stem gun violence that includes stepping up efforts to seize illegal guns.
The mayor also wants the police department to use facial recognition and other technology to identify people carrying weapons, expand cash rewards for tipsters who share information on gun-related crimes and for the city to help businesses pay to install surveillance cameras.
Associated Press writer Michelle L. Price in New York City contributed to this report.