A few of our stories and columns are now in front of the paywall. We at The Chief-Leader remain committed to independent reporting on labor and civil service. It's been our mission since 1897. You can have a hand in ensuring that our reporting remains relevant in the decades to come. Consider supporting The Chief, which you can do for as little as $3.20 a month.
Kudos to Mayor Adams for vetoing Intro 586-A, a bill introduced by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and supported by an overwhelming majority of City Council members that would require NYPD officers to document nearly every single minor interaction they have with members of the public for the sole purpose of determining the racial composition of each stop for statistical purposes.
The bill does nothing to reduce crime or make city streets safer. No doubt that the recent police investigation that resulted in the arrest of Jermain Rigueur accused of stabbing five people over a nine-day period would have been hampered had the law been in effect as detectives searched for the suspect. And what would it have showed? That detectives questioned a significant number of minorities, in a minority neighborhood, in which minorities were the victims.
Now that the mayor has vetoed the bill, the real work to stop it from becoming law has begun. The bill was passed by a narrow veto-proof majority 35-9 (To override a mayoral veto, two-thirds of the 51-member City Council, or 34 of them, must vote to do so). Unless the mayor can convince two members to side with him, his efforts will be for naught. Ironically, when he was an NYPD ranking officer and head of a 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, he would probably have sided with the Council on this issue.
But since becoming mayor, he’s learned that it’s a lot easier to criticize and harder to govern when you’re the one in charge. It doesn’t help that the federal government is nipping at his heels and his opponents would like to derail his prospects for a second term. This is a test for him and his convictions.
As for Jumaane Williams, why is it that he and most other city elected officials, who themselves have no policing background, go to extreme lengths to interfere with the NYPD’s main objectives: to enforce the law, protect the people, reduce fear and maintain order.
What is he doing sitting in his ivory tower to help the NYPD do a better job? The president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, Paul DiGiacomo, said it best when he asked Williams and the Council members who supported the bill, “When was the last time you did a piece of legislation for the victims of crime?”
The welfare of his constituents should be the public advocate’s number one priority, but he would prefer to drill into their heads that they are victims, not because of the crimes committed against them, but because the police had the audacity to question them about those crimes when they are merely doing their job.
What’s even sadder is that there are district attorneys and judges who buy into this warped idea and give criminals breaks that simply provide them more opportunities to commit crimes which inevitably lead to more interactions with the police.
The mayor has made it known where he stands on this matter. It’s up to him to go all in and do everything he can to stop this particular piece of legislation and another ludicrous bill passed by the City Council intended to prevent the Corrections Department from using solitary confinement to control inmates’ behavior.
The Corrections Department suffers from many of the same maladies as the NYPD — low morale, excessive overtime, difficulty recruiting new officers, excessive oversight and poor working conditions.
Imagine how much worse it would be for corrections officers if criminals were actually required to do the prescribed time for their crimes. The men and women in both departments need support from elected officials, not opposition
Bernard Whalen is a former NYPD lieutenant and co-author of “The NYPD’s First Fifty Years” and “Case Files of the NYPD.”
We depend on the support of readers like you to help keep our publication strong and independent. Join us.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here