Publisher's note: This post appears here courtesy of the LifeZette, and written by Stephen Owsinski.
Earlier this week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio sounded his alarm on national TV, claiming his city is out of money and thus having no choice except to furlough first responders, healthcare workers, and other city employees among the cadre we have come to know as "essential workers" handling a mind-blowing pandemic.
NYC Health + Hospitals nurses heard the bad news on May 6
, annually celebrated as "National Nurses Day," but Mayor de Blasio's televised furlough announcement was more of a gray cloud raining on a parade of fatigued nurses who earned nothing shy of celebration and deserved fanfare. Citizens, cops and firefighters extending gratitude to nurses for the unspeakable feat working on the frontlines throughout the coronavirus pandemic may not help pay bills...but it is nonetheless humanely enriching.
Similarly, the already-battle-hardened and numerically depleted cadre of NYPD cops are also in the cross-hairs of potential staffing reductions. New York City Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick Lynch provided some imperative data regarding the significant deficiency in police sworn strength, saying, "The NYPD is still understaffed by +4,000 since 9/11." This in response to City Council Public Safety Chair Donovan Richards who is proposing a police "hiring freeze" in order to compensate for other vital city programs.
How does Richards plan to do that? By cancelling police academy classes destined to train and bolster the ranks of the already-understaffed NYPD. Why would he do this? Reportedly, Richards is not exactly a police supporter, like some of his cohorts on a Democrat-laden city council
encompassing 51 seats equating to 47 Democrats and three Republicans-one seat if currently vacant.
In response to the proposal to nix cops by shuttering police academy doors, hence saving money, police union boss Patrick Lynch reminded Richards et al. that "Shootings have more than doubled this year in the 101 Pct. (which [Public Safety Chairman Richards] represents). And his plan is to cut cops?"
The Chief Leader published a report
on a colleague of Mr. Richards, Brad Lander
, described as "a progressive Democrat" and NYC Council member representing Brooklyn. Lander's ideations forecast a "hiring freeze at the NYPD, with the savings passed on to the Department of Education."
Mr. Lander sits on the Committee on Education
while also espousing against "discriminatory practices in the NYPD."
Perhaps he sees downsizing as a construct to destruct purported discriminatory practices. Landers notes in his playbook realms in equality and balance, saying, ""We know there's going to be cuts, but those cuts have to be made with a principle of shared sacrifice. My approach to the budget is pretty simply this: If we have to have a hiring freeze, if we are not going to be able to hire new Teachers and school counselors and mental-health counselors and social workers, then we can't afford to hire new Police Officers either."
Maybe Lander's crystal ball sees crime departing the Big Apple. It'll be a feat to witness, especially after NYC freed 2000-plus inmates because of the pandemic, results of which are still amounting to pandemonium. Brazen broad-daylight thievery
is the in-your-face-result of ludicrous liberations. Naturally, fewer cops is a burglars fantasy, and if NYC gets its way, so will burglars and the like. Unintended consequence of social distancing?
No matter how Lander's projects it, though, PBA leader Lynch sees it in a different light: "...just another cynical, dishonest attempt to push his anti-cop agenda. He is not calling for an 'NYPD hiring freeze'-he is explicitly asking to remove thousands of POs from our streets."
That intriguing notion aligns with Councilman Lander's idea to implement a hiring freeze on NYPD cops who are much-needed on the streets, engendering additional rank and file on the frontlines. "Savings" from a police hiring freeze will stack, and that money will be redistributed to the city's Department of Education which, as is the case for the entire country's educational districts, is currently largely shuttered due to the pandemic-related school closings.
Incidentally, Lynch noted that while the NYPD somehow operates with 4,000 or so fewer cops since 9/11, the city's DOE beefed up its education employee roles by about 10,000 since Bill de Blasio took hold of the mayoral flag.
One other pertinent factor regarding a severely understaffed police force being threatened with deeper cuts is the newfound protocol/expectation of city leaders asking police personnel to enforce social-distancing
among the public. In a city comprising five counties housing a populace of about 8.5 million residents policed by roughly 36,400 cops, the quotient defies logic and the intent snickers at the Constitution. Cutting cops is just another proverbial eye-poke and an absolute exacerbator regarding chronically deteriorating mental fitness
of law enforcement personnel.
As first responders unorthodoxly confronting the reality of enforcing social-distancing concepts (which the police union is underscoring
as surreal and unrealistic), society is asking much of its cops, paramount of which is taunting boundaries delineated in the Constitution.
PBA President Lynch continues to speak
and defend NYPD cops on the daily, rebuking NYC governance and Mayor de Blasio for their intentions to place the law enforcement neck on the chopping block while a pandemic leading to releasing inmates from its jail system continues to result in rampant crime
and otherwise avoidable victimization. No stranger to using subtlety, Mr. Lynch exclaimed, "New York City absolutely cannot balance its budget on the backs of its workers, especially police officers. Before this pandemic, crime was spiraling out of control. Now our entire social fabric is under tremendous strain, and police officers are already stretched thin trying to maintain order. If we cut cops, there will be chaos instead of a recovery."
Is he correct? Does NYC have other options?