Mayor Michael Bloomberg continued to vigorously defend the city's Stop & Frisk policy during a visit to a church in St. Albans, Queens on Sunday.
Speaking at the Greater Allen AME Cathedral, the mayor said the policy has a proven track record and has recovered thousands of illegal guns over the past decade.
He said it is particularly important to use now, when the city has seen a recent uptick in gun violence.
Dozens of people have been shot just within the last 10 days and the mayor pointed to the case of a three-year-old Brooklyn boy who was shot in the leg as he played in a sprinkler.
Bloomberg singled out one group that has sued over stop-and-frisk, the New York Civil Liberties Union, saying it does not make life-saving decisions.
"I don't know how we are going to have the NYCLU or the courts on the streets every place. They sit there and they pontificate and they complain but they don't do anything," said the mayor. "Our police officers put their lives on the lines every single day to protect you and me and our children and grandchildren."
The mayor reiterated that the police department is increasing training to make sure stop-and-frisks are conducted properly.
"If the NYCLU is allowed to determine policing strategies in our city many more children are going to grow up fatherless and many more children will not grow up at all," Bloomberg said.
In response, NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman told NY1, "It's a lot easier to trash the NYCLU that acknowledge that the police department has a serious problem and come up with effective solutions."
Lieberman questioned why the mayor is singling out the NYCLU when she said there are a number of other organizations that share its views.
"We have asked the mayor to engage in dialogue with us. I guess he would rather attack us from the pulpit," she said.
Meanwhile, the Reverend Al Sharpton called upon Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to attend a summit to address the recent gun violence.
Kelly stirred up controversy last week when he said community leaders and elected officials have been more vocal about stop-and-frisk than they have about violence in their neighborhoods.
"We have got to stop the violence, we have got to stop the killing but we do not have to sacrifice our civil liberties and civil rights to do it," said Sharpton.
The police commissioner said he will continue to work with Sharpton as he has in the past.