NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said Monday that police officers have been making sharply fewer arrests since the murders of Det. Weinjian Liu and Rafael Ramos and warned of consequences if officers were involved in a work slowdown.
"We are taking a long view look in terms of going back over time, looking at very specific precincts, boroughs, tours of duty," said Bratton, who wouldn't at that point call the activity a work "slow down."
"If in fact we feel, myself and the leadership team, that that is what we are dealing with, we will call it that and deal with it according," said Bratton.
The commissioner was reacting to data and reports that summonses and arrest activity had dropped sharply in recent weeks, particularly compared to a year ago. The drop comes as rank and file cops, as well as their union leaders, have literally turned their backs on Mayor Bill deBlasio over his statements after a Staten Island grand jury chose not to indict a police officer in the apparent choke hold death of Eric Garner.
The bad feelings have run so deep that deBlasio held a closed-door meeting with union officials last week to try and mend fences. During recent funerals for Liu and Ramos many cops turned their backs on deBlasio when he gave eulogies.
At a news conference Monday to tout 2014's record year in crime reduction, de Blasio sharply criticized such action directed against him as "disrespectful to the families" while Bratton labeled it "selfish."
Bratton didn't cite specific statistics about the drop off in arrests and summonses. But the latest NYPD data for the seven days ending January 4 shows arrests were off 55. 9 percent from the same period in 2014. The drop was 95.7 percent for transit arrests, 67.1 percent for drunken driving and 52.2 percent for narcotics busts, the data showed. All summonses, including those for parking moving violations and criminal infractions were off on average 92 percent compared to 2014, the same as for the week ending December 28.
"We will take a look at who is maybe not doing the work that we expect of them . . . and we will deal with it very appropriately if we have to," Bratton said.
Ed Mullins, the president of the Sergeant's Benevolent Association, said the drop off in enforcement is a result of shifting of manpower to deal with demonstrations, the funerals and the doubling up of patrol cars so that officers can respond to 911 calls in case they are being set up for assassination.
"There is not a union sanctioned slow down, it doesn't exist," Mullins said.
Patrolmen's Benevolent Association officials didn't return calls for comment. Detective Endowment Association President Michael Paladino said in a statement when cops make arrests they are criticized as "robotic" and when they don't they are accused of being "political and disrespectful."
"You can't win," Paladino said in the statement.