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The Bad Old Days Again?

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For those of us who grew up in New York in the 1970s and 1980s and saw the city dubbed "Dodge City" in the early 1990s, it is starting to feel eerily like 1992 again.

There were 46 percent more shootings in the city in a one-week period in June 2012 compared to the same week in June 2011. Fourteen shootings in one day that week. Two gun possession convictions overturned by overzealous judges who said that the "stop and frisk" method used to find these weapons did not pass the probable cause threshold.

What's going on here? Does anyone want to go back to the bad old days when four murders a day in the city was the average (rather than less than one last year)?

Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly have effectively kept the city safe the last decade from criminals and terrorists. And with fewer police officers.

Now they have to fight a third front: career-minded mayoral candidates and headline-grabbing judges who are undermining the NYPD's aggressive tactics that have kept New York the safest big city in America for almost two decades.

I am a parent of three teenagers, a product of the gritty Upper West Side of the 1970s and a mayoral candidate and I don't want to go back to the days of uncontrolled gangs and drug-dealing, random muggings and shootings and a city government that was always playing lousy defense in the war on crime.

I want CompStat and Community Policing. I want just enough "stop and frisk" to get guns and knives off the street, which will save the lives of young African-American and Latino men. I want less harassment of those carrying small amounts of marijuana but more vigilance and protection for those living in public housing who are afraid of gangs and guns.

The next year will be a very pivotal one in the history of New York City. We can let the weak and the panderers prevail and undo two decades of public safety gains.

Or we can support our current (and next) Mayor and Ray Kelly and the NYPD and let them do their jobs to keep us safe.

New York, it's up to you.

Tom Allon is a 2013 Liberal and Democratic candidate for Mayor of New York City.

Follow Tom's campaign on Twitter: @TomAllon4Mayor

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