Cops On Strike?

Unfriendly Cop

Unfriendly Cop

The December 29 edition of the New York Post reported that the New York Police Department is essentially on a work slowdown/strike. This is apparently due to many police officers feeling upset over lack of respect by the city’s Mayor and general public.

The story notes:

“[…]many officers have started turning a blind eye to some minor crimes, sources told The Post, while a union mandate that two patrol cars respond to all police calls has led to slower response times to non-emergencies.
“I’m not writing any summonses. Do you think I’m going to stand there so someone can shoot me or hit me in the head with an ax?” One cop said Sunday[…]”

The result of their work slowdown/strike is:

  • 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. “

Just maybe, cops arresting people only when they have to might improve their public image?

As a Vietnam Era Navy Veteran, I have very little sympathy for any cop complaining about not being properly respected by the civilian community. I remember how active-duty military were treated in the late 1970s and early 1980s by the civilian communities. I especially remember how the local police treated military personnel. We were nothing more than moving targets to the cops, easy marks for harassment, citations resulting in expensive fines, and arrests.

I remember too well a comment I received from a member of San Diego’s finest in the mid-1980s. A friend and I had moved into a condo in a nice area of San Diego in late 1981. For the first couple of years we lived there one neighbor, a woman who was a member of the San Diego Police Department kept her distance from us. She slowly became became more friendly. Then one day I was chatting with her and she made the statement “You know, when you two guys moved in, and I heard that you were sailors, I was thinking of moving out. But you guys are really cool.” I know she meant it as a compliment, but her words left me cold.

At that time, active duty military personnel in San Diego knew that if we got into trouble with local civilians out in town our best hope was to be picked up by the Shore Patrol. We knew we weren’t going to get fair treatment from the local cops, and we knew the cops would side with civilians over military every time. My police neighbor’s comment neatly summed up what I had lived since joining the Navy.

Although the Vietnam War was over, we were still at the height of the Cold War and deployment demands were pretty heavy. We were working hard doing things no one outside the military community understood. Despite the hard work and the way we were treated by the local civilian community, we were proud of defending America. We knew we were defending our Constitution and Bill of Rights, which gave civilians the freedom to treat us like dirt. We were expected and in fact proud of “sucking it up” and doing our job defending our country. If we didn’t like it, our option was to leave the service when our contracts were up.

So now I’m reading about cops in New York City and other places around America complaining because they don’t feel like they’re getting proper levels of respect from the local communities. To those cops I say; “suck it up and do your jobs. If you don’t like it, quit. There’s lots of shopping malls in America to work at.”

People aren’t protesting cops because they don’t like the concept of police protection. People are protesting cops because the cops are killing people, arresting people, and writing citations leading to expensive fines without just cause. These behaviors didn’t start yesterday and every cop on the beat damn well knows it. The only thing that’s changed is the brave new world of our surveillance state which puts video cameras in every person’s hand. Everyday people are now able to record cops in action, and those people who have led lives of innocence and privilege are being forced to witness first-hand how dirty cops really are.

So just maybe; if cops stop arresting people when they don’t have to, don’t write citations that lead to expensive fines when they don’t have to, and don’t kill people when they don’t have to, maybe non-police people will start liking cops. If it takes cops going on strike to achieve this, then let ’em stay on strike for as long as they want.

 

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