In response to soaring violent crime rates that are all but crippling shop owners and city dwellers, the New York Police Department wants to make sure would-be criminals see fewer cops engaged with each other and the community — not more.
In a memo dated Tuesday and released to New York’s finest, the NYPD has ordered its officers not to engage in any “unnecessary” chit-chat with each other and to refrain from congregating on the city’s streets, the New York Post reports.
“Do not congregate, or engage in unnecessary conversation, with other members of the service while on post, absent police necessity,” the memo instructs officers.
Furthermore, the revised patrol guide continues, it is up to patrol supervisors to ensure “members of the service do not congregate, or engage in unnecessary conversation, with other members of the service while on post, absent police necessity.”
The memo comes on the heels of comments made by New York Mayor Eric Adams, who was caught on video chastising a group of NYPD officers.
“How about scattering out, so we ensure safety and deploy personnel?” he asked the officers. “We have not been deploying our personnel correctly.”
On a Summer Streets bike ride, @NYCMayor Adams crossed the median to tell NYPD he didn’t like how they were bunched up in a quiet area with no cross traffic. “How about scattering out, so we ensure safety and deploy personnel? We have not been deploying our personnel correctly.” pic.twitter.com/yfpJ0DumPN
— Jeff Coltin (@JCColtin) August 6, 2022
According to Patrick Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, the nation’s largest police union, Mayor Adams won’t have to worry about officers congregating, because, soon, there won’t be enough of them left to violate the new order.
“The order is unnecessary,” Lynch argued. “Pretty soon there won’t be enough cops left to congregate anywhere in the city, because these miserable working conditions and the low pay are forcing them to quit in droves.”
It isn’t the first time Adams has tried to separate the city’s police force.
As American Wire reported in June, Adams proposed doing away with a near decade-long safety protocol and forcing NYPD officers to walk their subway patrols alone, without a partner to back them up.
“We are determined to single patrol,” Adams said at the time. “What that is going to allow us to do is now utilize our resources in the omnipresence that we have been talking about.”
“When we made every patrol a dual patrol,” the mayor added, “we cut our department basically in half.”
The union hit back then, too.
“Solo transit patrols were abandoned because they make it harder for cops to protect straphangers and ourselves,” Lynch said in June. “They’re even less effective now that criminals know there are no consequences for fighting cops and resisting arrest.”
When, a day after his announcement, a detective was attacked on a Brooklyn subway platform, the plan was quickly reexamined.
Police union blasts NYC mayor Adams for ignoring safety, enacting solo patrols amid rising crime https://t.co/uVNYCdueTA
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) June 18, 2022
As with the inspiration behind the solo patrols, it is the ongoing staffing shortages that are spurring this latest directive, according to former NYPD sergeant and current John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor Joseph Giacalone.
“It just goes to show you that they’re spread thin,” he said. “They don’t have enough people. You can’t cover all these events and move cops to hot spots. After a while, you say to yourself, ‘Who’s left?'”
One Manhattan officer with more than 20 years on the force thinks Mayor Adams should be focusing on other matters.
“Worry about crime in the city and stop worrying about cops congregating,” the officer said. “Worry about your transit system and how it’s out of control. Worry about your shootings. Officers can’t even walk around their own neighborhood without getting their ass kicked.”
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