For the record, I don’t have any problem with members of municipal unions, including the police, working to rule and protesting what they view is bad policy. In the case of the NYPD, that they erroneously believe that the protests against police brutality are indictment of all police is very stupid. But, like everyone else, they have the right to be idiots. Declaring they are a “wartime” (with whom?) police department and that they will seek justice (how? The murderer of two NY policemen is already dead) is beyond the pale, however, as it is a direct repudiation of democratically elected officials by unelected officials with the capability to use force. But I digress.
Anyway, the NYPD officers, as of Tuesday, are engaged in a work-to-rule slowdown (boldface mine):
It’s not a slowdown — it’s a virtual work stoppage.
NYPD traffic tickets and summonses for minor offenses have dropped off by a staggering 94 percent following the execution of two cops — as officers feel betrayed by the mayor and fear for their safety, The Post has learned….
Angry union leaders have ordered drastic measures for their members since the Dec. 20 assassination of two NYPD cops in a patrol car, including that two units respond to every call.
It has helped contribute to a nose dive in low-level policing, with overall arrests down 66 percent for the week starting Dec. 22 compared with the same period in 2013, stats show.
Citations for traffic violations fell by 94 percent, from 10,069 to 587, during that time frame.
Summonses for low-level offenses like public drinking and urination also plunged 94 percent — from 4,831 to 300.
Even parking violations are way down, dropping by 92 percent, from 14,699 to 1,241.
Drug arrests by cops assigned to the NYPD’s Organized Crime Control Bureau — which are part of the overall number — dropped by 84 percent, from 382 to 63.
The Post obtained the numbers hours after revealing that cops were turning a blind eye to some minor crimes and making arrests only “when they have to” since the execution-style shootings of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.
Police sources said Monday that safety concerns were the main reason for the dropoff in police activity, but added that some cops were mounting an undeclared slowdown in protest of de Blasio’s response to the non-indictment in the police chokehold death of Eric Garner.
Here’s the thing: this might not be like the sanitation workers strike. Then, it was obvious what the consequences were–mounds of rotting garbage. But what happens if, after a couple weeks of slowdown, there’s no uptick in violent or property (i.e., breaking and entry) crime? That would undermine the current policing philosophy of the NYPD (and many other cities). After all, the ‘broken windows’ argument–one first proposed by a stone-cold racist–claims that any let up over the small stuff will lead to worse crime. The rabble must be controlled. But if violent crime doesn’t increase, then arresting people for minor violations doesn’t seem like a good strategy.
Helluva experiment. Let’s see what the outcome will be.