Politicians continue to erode the effectiveness of the police department.
Now comes word that the geniuses in New York’s City Council will pass another round of “sweeping measures” — read “anti-cop” — to reform NYPD’s procedures for interacting with the public. Let’s just deal with the most ludicrous:
In sum: ANY self-initiated conversations between cops and members of the public must now be memorialized with paperwork.
You read that right.
Under New York’s highly regimented procedures for talking to the public — which come out of a case known as People v. DeBour — there are four scenarios under which police are empowered to talk to fellow citizens.
The lowest level scenario is known simply as, “Objective Credible Reason to Approach.”
Again — you read that right. Not to detain. Not to arrest. Not even to interrogate.
So now, at a crime scene, patrol officers who simply wish to ask a neighbor, “Did you see what happened?” will be required to fill out new paperwork.
A cop who wishes to ask a store owner, “How’s it going? The shoplifters been hitting you lately?” — the same.
And so on.
If the utterly oblivious members of the City Council think the cops are going to spend all day typing paperwork for every conversation they have….
Really, this is just a measure to hang the cops when “the system” wants to. Once in-place, a review of bodycam footage will allow all the police oversight entities (there are at least a half-dozen) to exclaim, “Ah-hah! You didn’t memorialize your (perfectly inconsequential) conversation with witness number six!”
What happened to “community policing”? To “getting to know the public you serve”?
If this boondoggle passes (it needs to be signed by Mayor Adams now), New York is probably about two years away from becoming Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
And yes — San Francisco.
It’s Just Part Of The Trend.…
In addition to the above, let’s just list what the good-hearted within the criminal justice system now face in NewYork when trying to do their jobs:
- Bail Reform: Which essentially mandates that nobody beyond violent felons ever sees any jail time.
- Discovery Reform: Which undermines the ability of prosecutors and detectives to prosecute a case, due to impossible time constraints to provide evidence.
- Raise the Age: Which raised New York’s age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18.
- The Less Is More Act: Which eliminated any punishment for parolees who simply ignore mandated parole meetings.
- The Clean Slate Act: Not yet signed into law, but certainly headed that way, this bill wipes clean the criminal history of convicts three years after misdemeanors, eight years after felonies. As most felony arrests get pled down to misdemeanors… you get the picture.
- The “Diaphragm” Law: Another de Blasio/City Council debacle, this created a misdemeanor charge for a cop who restricts an arrestee’s breathing “in any way.”
And with the closing of the Rikers Island jail on the way — after which New York will have to go down 40% in detainees from where we are now — well, the future here ain’t what it used to be.
So Is It Buh-Bye, New York?
There is a breed of journalist — likely, one that owns an apartment here — who disputes the suggestion of New York’s deterioration.
Here, novelist Kevin Baker writes for the far-left Guardian how the “Murdoch press and sensationalist TV news programmes have trumpeted any uptick in crime or social disorder….”
It’s a piece rife with interpretive and factual errors (the “police’s wildly unconstitutional “stop and frisk” programme” was never, actually, found to be unconstitutional — the de Blasio administration dropped the case after the city’s appeal had in fact succeeded. Do your research, pal).
From the other end of the spectrum, NY Post curmudgeon Steve Cuozzo takes issue with some of the “urban doom loop” prognostications coming out of the real estate industry. He also makes adept use of NYPD Compstat numbers.
Cuozzo’s take is also too optimistic, but is way more accurate — in essence, he writes that while crime is rising relative to recent years, the real problem is “an ever-increasing street disorder that might not kill but threatens us in other ways — lawless cyclists, open-air drug use, unchecked shoplifting, and raving maniacs who might or might not come at us with knives.”
Cuozzo gets that right — and shows the difference between a real New Yorker and a Massachusetts dilettante.
Thanks for reading The Ops Desk!