On Friday, police commissioner Bill Bratton declared the NYPD work stoppage over. Referring to the recent 90 percent decrease in summonses (not to mention the 56 percent decrease in arrests), he said, “I anticipate by early next week that the numbers will return to their normalcy.” But it seems that Bratton isn’t going to just sit back and assume that his employees will go back to handing out tickets for driving violations and public drinking just because he told them to. (After all, that strategy didn’t work so well when it came to the funeral back-turning issue.)
The New York Post reports that, “Throughout the city, precincts are being ordered to hand up to borough commanders ‘activity sheets’ indicating the number of arrests and summonses per shift.” And some precincts are forbidding cops from taking time off until they return to business-as-usual. “Police officers around the city are now threatened with transfers, no vacation time and sick time unless they write summonses. This is the same practice that caused officers to be labeled racist and abusers of power,” said an NYPD “union source,” acknowledging that their effort to punish Mayor de Blasio by depriving the city ticketing income has been downright pleasant for the non-white communities normally targeted by the cops.
“To have all the manpower utilized for the sole purpose of writing summonses is a very dangerous way to utilize manpower,” said an officer from the 105th Precinct, where a station house memo announced that commanders had stopped approving vacation days and doctor’s-note-less sick days until further notice. “This is not what we’re out here for.” Unfortunately — and the last two weeks or so aside — that just doesn’t seem to be true.