The streets of New York are the most dangerous they've been for NYPD officers in eleven years.
Pat Lynch, President of the Police Benevolent Association is concerned not only for his officers but also their families, "We don't want them to look out the peephole of an apartment and see a priest and a police officer standing there."
Wednesday's shooting of NYPD Sgt. Craig Bier marks the 10th time this year that an NYPD officer has been on the receiving end of a bullet.
Brooklyn leads all boroughs with five incidents, followed by Manhattan with three, and the Bronx along with Queens each have one. "We've told our members to be careful it's getting dangerous out there," said Lynch during an interview with PIX 11 News at the PBA offices in Lower Manhattan.
The haunting images that shootings overall are up by 9% in the city can be found everywhere. Police tape tying down a scene, blood on a sidewalk, or bullet holes in a window were clearly evident in the aftermath of Sgt. Bier's shooting.
However, the stat that is raising a number of eyebrows within precinct walls is that 2012 has recorded the most shootings of NYPD police officers in which they have returned fire since 2001.
Lynch says the reason for the rise is simple math, "The problem? Staffing we're 7,000 police officers short in the NYPD. That's about 100 police officers for every neighborhood precinct."
As the summer of 2012 is quickly becoming notoriously known for gun violence it comes as no surprise that Olinville Arms, a Bronx gun store and range, is seeing more business. One NYPD officer working out of the 44th precinct telling PIX 11 News he goes to their range often to "stay sharp." When asked if he dons his bulletproof vest while on patrol? His response, "everyday."
Officers from different boroughs deacribed the environment on the streets to PIX 11 News as "crazy." A constant site are teenagers running around with guns and a mentality of shoot first and think about the consequences later.
Hours after the latest shooting, the NYPD released an image of the Ruger 9-MM used. It serves as a reminder that hoodlums with guns have no respect or fear when their finger is on the trigger, "If they'll shoot and try to kill a new York City police officer, the citizens don't have a chance," said Lynch.
One final note, Sgt. Bier went home Friday.