Where’s the outrage over New York City police officers not doing their jobs?
There is powerful statistical evidence that a large fraction of NYC’s finest are engaged in a work slowdown.
NYPD data for the week that ended Sunday, Jan. 4, shows arrests were down 55.9 percent compared to the same week last year. The decline was 95.7 percent for transit arrests, 67.1 percent for drunk driving and 52.2 percent for drug busts.
Summons for traffic infractions were off 92 percent.
What other municipal employees could, in a fit of pique with the boss, sit on their hands while on the taxpayers’ dime and get away with it?
What if firefighters decided there were some fires they wouldn’t put out? Or sanitation workers took to picking and choosing what garbage they would haul away? What about bus drivers? What would happen if they decided to drive their routes but without picking up passengers?
They wouldn’t get away with it. Not for a New York minute. Taxpayers who rely on those services, and pay dearly for them, would insist the goldbricking workers be given two clear options: Do the job or take a hike.
So why aren’t members of the NYPD facing that ultimatum?
The steep drop in police activity comes during a war of words between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the police rank-and-file and their unions. They don’t much like the mayor, beginning with his position on stop-and-frisk during the 2013 campaign to his words following the 2014 lethal asphyxiation of Eric Garner in Staten Island at the hands of cops taking him into custody for selling loose cigarettes. Among de Blasio’s perceived offenses: He told his teenage, biracial son, Dante, to be wary in interactions with police.
Now, unfortunately lost in that war of words and in the aftermath of two officers assassinated by a deranged criminal, are the legitimate issues about policing in minority communities raised by Garner’s death. Urging NYPD reforms does not make the mayor or anyone else anti-cop.
The policing issues, and the troubled relationship between blacks and cops rubbed raw by recent events, won’t go away simply because we stop paying attention or because cops stop doing their jobs.
Alvin Bessent is a member of the amNew York editorial board.