NYC to use more non-police ‘ambassadors’ to urge distancing


Bicyclists and runners enjoy Central Park, Saturday, May 9, 2020, in New York during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is planning to double the ranks of non-police workers trying to persuade people to comply with social distancing after an outcry over racial disparities in the city’s enforcement of the policy.

De Blasio says the number of city workers deployed as “social distancing ambassadors” will soon grow from around 1,000 to 2,300. Police department data released Friday showed that of the 374 summonses issued through May 5 for violating distancing orders, 52% were given to black people and 30% to Hispanic people.

The Democratic mayor on Friday called those statistics “an indicator that something’s wrong we need to fix.” 

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