NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Policing and officers’ dealings with communities of color have become especially divisive issues in our city.
While protesters have taken to the streets, power brokers have been battling behind the scenes about the fight over the future of the NYPD.
Since December, five New York City police officers have been shot — three of them killed. Now some police officials are saying government policies are leading to more danger for the police, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported Wednesday.
“The criminals are carrying their guns again in this city because they feel emboldened, empowered by politicians who seem to be advocating for them, you know, right here in the City Council,” said Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association.
Palladino told Brennan the New York City Council’s policies against proactive policing have handcuffed the cops and put them on the defensive.
“You have a runaway City Council that is a body of lawmakers that actually want to dictate policy and run the Police Department when they should just leave the Police Department to the police professionals,” Palladino said.
A new poll says 60 percent of residents have either a great deal of confidence (25 percent) or a fair amount of confidence (35 percent) in the police officers in their community to protect them from violent crime.
Some critics say the anti-police rhetoric is creating a bad environment for everyone, Brennan reported.
“It’s just assumed, especially in many elements of the media and politics, that the cop is wrong, that the cop has a bad intention, that the cop is just focused on trying to hurt innocent people,” said U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-Long Island. “That’s a terrible, terrible atmosphere to create.”
Brennan posed the following question to City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito: Why do you think this is happening and what can be done about it?
“I cannot speculate. I’m not in a position to do that,” Mark-Viverito said. “But again, we want to thank each and every officer for the service to the city.”
Mark-Viverito said the Council works with the NYPD to give it the resources it needs, Brennan reported.
When asked if she was worried about the environment in the city right now in terms of the safety of officers and the safety of citizens, Mark-Viverito said, “We have a very strong, collaborative relationship with this commissioner, who has an open-door policy. He knows that the City Council is very much supportive of the NYPD.”
Both King and Palladino said they believe Mayor Bill de Blasio has changed his tone towards police and they like what they’re hearing, Brennan reported.