NYC Mayor Eric Adams implored the city's law enforcement officers not to be discouraged after a deadly month in their ranks.
Five NYPD officers have been shot, including one fatally, since Adams was sworn in on New Year's Day.
In a message sent Sunday to the NYPD, obtained by NBC New York, Adams urged police to stay focused on their essential work, secure in the knowledge that they are being supported by the city.
To the men and women of the NYPD, I want you to know, I'm here for you. And New Yorkers are here for you. I know how devastating this is, the pain that is in your heart this morning. I know what it feels like to lose a friend and a colleague, a fellow officer. I remember losing my friend Robert Venable when I was on patrol. I remember how my mother feared for my safety after hearing the news he was killed in the line of duty. I know how much your family fears for your life, and how it feels to have your family fear for your safety. I want you to know how much New Yorkers appreciate you and the work you do. They want you here. They support you. Don't listen to the criticism, don't let the loudest voices drown out the truth -- you are loved and appreciated by your fellow citizens. As I said last night, it is the city, united, versus the killers. You are on the frontlines of our efforts to keep New Yorkers safe and there is no one I'd rather have in that position. Thank you again for all that you do. We will always have your back. My heart goes out to the families. Let's keep our city safe.
Officer Jason Rivera, 22, was killed Friday while responding to a domestic violence call in Harlem. His partner, Officer Wilbert Mora, 27, was critically injured.
The suspect, 47-year-old Lashawn McNeil, was shot by a third officer and taken to the hospital in critical condition.
McNeil reportedly opened fire on officers after they entered an apartment on West 135th Street. McNeil's mother, who called police at around 6:15 that evening, later told police she did not know he had guns in the home.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Sunday addressed the problem of illegal guns in the state. She says more than 50 law enforcement representatives from the northeastern states will meet this week to discuss the problem.
"We have a moral obligation to do everything we can to fight the scourge of illegal guns on our streets,” she said.
"Too many lives have been lost because of illegal firearms that should never have been on our streets. By convening law enforcement officials from across the region, we can share intelligence and strategies that stem the flow of illegal guns and keep New Yorkers safe."
The Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns meets Wednesday.