Last week, Mayor Mike Bloomberg trumpeted the fact that New York City experienced a record-low murder rate in 2012. Unfortunately, the news came just one day after yet another tragic incident where a woman pushed an unsuspecting straphanger in front of an oncoming 7 train at the 40th Street station in Sunnyside.
The incident in Sunnyside comes too soon after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults in a school in Newtown, Conn. Just weeks before that, another Queens man was killed when he was pushed in front of a Q train in Manhattan. The common denominator in each of these incidents was the mental health of the perpetrator.
The Mayor should be commended for his efforts in lowering the crime rate in the City, which will certainly be part of his legacy when his term ends next year. But incidents like the one that happened last week – the 54th death on a subway line in 2012 – sadly will continue until there is more education and treatment for mental health and behavioral issues.
If Mayor Bloomberg wants to cement his legacy as a Mayor crusading for the betterment of his people, perhaps he should turn his attention to the plight of the mentally ill in the City. By ensuring that those individuals get the proper care and treatment, he will also ensure that all that come into contact with them will also be protected. And with that protection, we can hopefully all have a safe and prosperous New Year.