Perhaps it reflected a new era of good feeling, ushered in by Commmisioner Bill Bratton's collaborative-policing approach. Or perhaps it was just a bunch of law enforcement guys getting older and becoming mellow.
But last week the NYPD hosted a rare event at Police Plaza: a lovefest. The occasion celebrated the life of the late Jack Maple, who is regarded as the founder of CompStat (which provides the department with a statistical-based approach to fight crime). Maple first outlined the computer-based program on a napkin at Elaine's restaurant, circa 1994. It is now considered the "raison d'être" of the city's crime drop over the past 20 years.
Law enforcement personnel spoke of Maple with the kind of majestic awe that might befit Alexander the Great or Mao Zedong, both of whom Maple had been compared to before he died in 2001. The event drew former Mayor David Dinkins and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who admitted Maple was probably a more important attendee of Brooklyn Technical High School than hizzoner's son, Dante.
Unfortunately, de Blasio can't catch a break when it comes to mending mayoral-police relations after the chokehold death of Eric Garner as officers on Staten Island tried to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes. DNAinfo.com recently reported that Dante, mom Chirlane McCray and her chief of staff, Rachel Noerdlinger, attended a CompStat meeting. Such meetings are closed to the public.
DNAinfo.com also reported last week that Noerdlinger's boyfriend, Hassaun McFarlan, 36, served time in prison for manslaughter and drug trafficking and continues to get into scrapes with the law. The news website also reported that McFarlan nearly ran a cop off the road in New Jersey last year while driving Noerdlinger's car.
Alas, this is Team de Blasio's amateurism at its worst. The mayor said late last week he has faith in Noerdlinger -- at least for the moment. But it's going to be difficult for the mayor to easily speak on police matters when the boyfriend of one of his senior advisers has bashed police officers as "pigs" in online posts.
Maple would probably have shaken his head in wonderment over the revelations about Noerdlinger and her boyfriend. He then would have uttered his favorite phrase: "How scrumptious."