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Remarks of Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill about Las Vegas Mass Shooting during NYPD's Monthly Crime Briefing

October 3, 2017

Good morning, everyone. Thanks for being here.

In a moment, you'll hear from Mayor de Blasio, then you'll hear from [Chief of Crime Control Strategies] Dermot [Shea], who is going to go over the September crime figures for us. And then [Chief of Detectives] Bob Boyce has two cases he wants to talk about, and then, of course, we'll take your questions.

Just before we get into speaking about New York City's continuing downward trend as it relates to the overall crime rate — as Dermot is going over it, just pay attention to the shooting numbers and see where we are.

I've been in this business a long time. I've been going to CompStat since 1996, and to have a year like last year and a year like this year, it's a tremendous amount of work by everybody in this city, certainly not just the NYPD.

I want to say a word about the massacre that occurred on Sunday night in Las Vegas. The thoughts of every member of the New York City Police Department and, I'm sure, all New Yorkers, are with those individuals, those families whose lives have now been forever altered.

It's hard for any of us to comprehend how something like that could come to pass.

And while we don't yet know this person's motivation for this act, we do understand that no city or town in our country is completely immune to such unbridled hatred.

Nothing can alter the tremendous loss of life witnessed that night, but I want to point out one thing: The stories are starting to come out now about the acts of bravery, of heroism, of pure selflessness performed by regular people attending that concert — people who threw themselves on top of others to shield them from the barrage of gunfire, people who jumped in their vehicles and drove back to the site to help ferry the wounded to the hospitals, and medical personnel and other first responders who put themselves in harm's way to assist the injured.

Most of these people didn't even know each other that night. But these were neighbors helping neighbors — ordinary Americans, doing extraordinary things. I think it speaks extremely — very high of the character of our nation.

And I want to commend the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and Sheriff Joe Lombardo. Their organized response to that active-shooter, determining where the gunfire was coming from, and then storming that hotel room — knowing what kind of arsenal probably lay on the other side of that door — surely saved even more lives.

I would just ask that today as you go about your business, tell your families and friends how much they mean to you, because we're all mourning today in the wake of this national tragedy. But we'll all get through it, together. And it's together that we'll try to figure out why these mass shootings keep occurring, and how we can stop them.

And, please, if you see a first responder today or this week — a cop, a firefighter, EMT or paramedic, a doctor or a nurse, tell them, "thank you" for what they do every day. Tell them you appreciate what they do for the public, what they — like the people in Las Vegas — do for others, people who they might never have met before.

In the meantime, I want to urge everyone who lives and works here, and everyone who visits New York, to keep coming out and enjoying all that our city — this great city — has to offer.

New Yorkers do not make decisions based on fear.

As we move further into the fall, and into the holiday season, the NYPD will certainly maintain our vigilance. We never stop trying to achieve, and to improve, our overall mission of fighting crime and keeping people safe — and making people feel safe.

And I'll ask, as I always do, that if anyone sees anything that looks out of the ordinary or something that doesn't feel right to them – call 911, flag down a cop. Because public safety truly is a shared responsibility. We need everyone's help to keep pushing crime down. And we need everyone's eyes and ears to ensure that New York City remains the safest big city in the United States.