Hey, so, remember how the NYPD decided that it was going to stop writing tickets for minor offenses like parking violations and public drinking and cycling on the sidewalk or whatever and at first it was all, like, oh no, what if we really need the NYPD around to enforce laws like this because without them we’d immediately descend into anarchy; and then it was like, haha lol, just kidding, we are doing just fine without the constant, targeted harassment of much of our city’s population due to the oft-disproven Broken Windows-style policing; and then it was, like, oh, right, joke’s on us because the NYPD brass didn’t suggest the work slowdown to drive the city into anarchy, rather it wanted the slowdown to drive the city into bankruptcy, so really, the joke’s on de Blasio and, you know, the city budget. Man! Local politics is just so awesome and not at all depressing or demoralizing and really allows you to have faith in the system which governs your daily life.
Anyway, it seems that the slowdown might be over and that the city’s petty crime lords should expect a renewed urgency in the doling out of tickets by New York’s men in blue. According to the New York Post, following Police Commission Bill Bratton’s edict last Friday that cops start handing out tickets again, “at precincts around the city, top brass are cracking the whip on summons activity and even barring many cops from taking vacation and sick days.” In some precincts, cops were sent out to do things like set up driver checkpoints and weren’t even allowed to “take a meal break until two summonses were logged.”
It seems pretty clear that this type of crackdown on the police work-stoppage was inevitable—the city relies far too heavily on revenue from tickets to allow such a huge decrease in their occurrence—but what’s less clear is whether a re-institution of the Broken Windows Policy is good for anything other than the city’s coffers. After all, as one cop pointed out (perhaps more than a little disingenuously) to the Post, the ceaseless barrage of tickets for minor offenses, particularly in minority communities, “is the same practice that caused officers to be labeled racist and abusers of power.” Maybe instead of reverting to the old far-from-perfect system, now would be a good time to figure out some other ways for the city to make money, ways which don’t involve the persistent harassment of many of its residents. Yeah, I know. Keep dreaming.
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