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I Hope The NYPD Temper Tantrum Lasts

So I came across a story in the (I know, I know) NY Post  a few days ago. They took a look at police activity during the course of the week that Pat Lynch’s promised a "slow down" of cops doing their damned jobs. They looked at the week of December 22 through December 29th and compared a few statistics to the same week last year. Here are the things they looked at:

  • Overall arrests – down by 66%
  • Traffic citations down by 94%
  • Summonses for low-level offenses (public drinking, urination, etc) down by 94%
  • Parking violations down by 92%
  • Drug arrests down by 84%

When asked what the fuck they thought they were doing, police officials cited "safety concerns" as the reason for the pseudo strike. Safety concerns? While writing parking tickets? Are you worried about accidentally slipping on a discarded bagel, falling on your pen and slicing open your jugular vein?

Well I say BRAVO! I hope they can keep this up for another 3 months or so. Why? I have a few reasons.

For one thing, I’m not interested in wasting resources on drug arrests. I’d prefer that our cops fight actual crime, rather than clogging up the court system with this nonsense. Each time they arrest someone for something like drugs or selling loosie cigarettes, they get to spend half of a shift booking that wanton criminal. So basically, we end up with a cop on the clock, basically standing there with his dick in his hand for 4 hours. That doesn’t really seem to me like it serves the greater good.

Another good thing to come out of all of this is that these bullshit offenses that are in place to generate revenue, rather than keep our city orderly are largely hurting low income people who end up sitting in jail because they can’t afford to bail out. I say great! I don’t need 3/4 of our jail population being comprised of people who couldn’t raise $100 bail for a public drinking offense.

But my biggest reason for wanting this to continue is that it will debunk the unicorn known as "broken windows policing" that some obnoxious mayors had embraced in the past. The purely unproven theory is that if you crack down on low level criminals, you will deter them from becoming more serious, career criminals. Bullshit. From 2001 – 2010, when New York City was broken-stop-and-frisk-windowing, violent crime dropped by 29%. That sounds awesome, only if you don’t think critically and ask for context. If you do a little research, you’ll find out that during that same period of time, big cities that weren’t harassing people suspected of being low level offenders were experiencing much larger declines in violent crime.

  • Los Angeles  – 59% drop
  • New Orleans – 56% drop
  • Dallas 49% drop
  • Baltimore (yeah, the one from The Wire) 37% drop

One piece of data without context is meaningless but the people that want to manipulate you know that most people will take one data point and run with that in order to create a whole ideology behind it. Three months of this pseudo strike should be enough to debunk the theory of broken windows policing, or at least make it seriously questionable. Violent crime will continue to drop. Why am I so sure? Because it’s been dropping steadily all across the country for 20 years now. Regardless of the policing practices, and independent of reductions or increases in police force size, crime is going down. I have no reason to believe that’s going to change. If I’m right, we will not only debunk this vehicle for acceptable racist practices, but we can start looking at how many cops are too many cops in New York City.

I have to wonder if the revenue they’re generating by writing these pointless tickets and making these petty arrests can’t be offset by shedding some salaries, pensions, and civil suit settlements through a reduction in force. So you keep up the temper tantrum, NYPD. Keep disrespecting the mayor and stay on strike while still cashing your paychecks while you can because this childishness may come back to bite you in the ass. And then perhaps you’ll see your fearless leader, Pat Lynch for the small minded idiot that he really is.     

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