Wednesday, December 31, 2014

NYT: Police Respect Squandered in Attacks on de Blasio

From the New York Times Op-Ed:

With these acts of passive-aggressive contempt and self-pity, many New York police officers, led by their union, are squandering the department’s credibility, defacing its reputation, shredding its hard-earned respect. They have taken the most grave and solemn of civic moments — a funeral of a fallen colleague — and hijacked it for their own petty look-at-us gesture. In doing so, they also turned their backs on Mr. Ramos’s widow and her two young sons, and others in that grief-struck family.

These are disgraceful acts, which will be compounded if anyone repeats the stunt at Officer Liu’s funeral on Sunday.

The New York Police Department is going through a terrible time, and the assassinations of those officers only underscore the dreadful dangers that rank-and-file cops face every day. And, in truth, there is some thanklessness to being a cop. Officers often feel beleaguered, jerked around by supervisors and politicians, obligated to follow rules and policies that can be misguided, held responsible for their mistakes in ways that the public is not, exposed to frequent ridicule and hostility from the people they are sworn to serve. It has always been that way with cops.

But none of those grievances can justify the snarling sense of victimhood that seems to be motivating the anti-de Blasio campaign — the belief that the department is never wrong, that it never needs redirection or reform, only reverence. This is the view peddled by union officials like Patrick Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association — that cops are an ethically impeccable force with their own priorities and codes of behavior, accountable only to themselves, and whose reflexive defiance in the face of valid criticism is somehow normal.

Since the two New York Police officers were killed on December 20th, arrests have plummeted 66% in the city, compared to the same time period last year.

I understand a sense of fear after the deaths of the two officers. But a huge drop in parking violations? The New York Post is calling the drop a "virtual work stoppage" in protest of the mayor.

• Citations for traffic violations fell by 94 percent, from 10,069 to 587.

• Even the number of parking violations have sunk by 92 percent, from 14,699 to 1,241.

If true, I don't know if that really serves the NYPD in terms of 'respect.'

Mayor De Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton are meeting with five police union heads today to attempt to address concerns and move the city past the currently widening rift.

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