NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton on Monday urged New Yorkers to harden their hearts and close their wallets if they want to help stem the city's vagrancy crisis, reports the New York Post.
"My best advice to the citizens of New York City: If this is so upsetting to you, don't give. One of the quickest ways to get rid of them is not to give to them," Bratton said.
Bratton made the remarks at a news conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio outside City Hall after they were shown a photo of a supposedly homeless person with a menagerie of pets panhandling at Broadway and West 68th Street on Saturday night.
Bratton — who has blasted New York's courts for making it tough to clear vagrants off the streets — noted the photo illustrated something that "would be possible for our officers to actually act upon" because he was taking up a large amount of public space and could be removed by police.
He also said the NYPD was working with its precinct commanders to teach cops about "the nuances of the laws that the officers have to work with to enforce — and they are nuances, very fine nuances."