We regret to inform you that the fun’s finally over, guys. Believe us, we also had a really good run of brown-bagging tall boys on the train to work, parking in front of fire hydrants with total impunity, and generally acting like hillbillies high on hooch, cough syrup, and over-the-counter car sickness pills. But last week a friend of mine was carted off to central booking in Downtown Brooklyn because, after getting caught hopping a turn-style, a cop found out he was a real live fugitive from the law. Yep, that’s right, my pal had a warrant out for his arrest after forgetting to pay a ticket for riding his bike on the sidewalk. He definitely deserved a night in jail for that one, right? If nothing else, it sounded to me like the NYPD was back in business. And as of yesterday, the numbers are here to prove it. Shhhh, it’s ok. We all knew this day would come.
After weeks of a dramatic slowdown in, um, policing by the police, the cops finally appear to be doing their job again. Well, sort of. Arrests and tickets have rebounded, though not quite to the same levels they were at before–they are still 20 percent lower than they were at the same time last year. And criminal summonses have remained steadily low. According to the Times, these summonses are issued to people for Broken Windows type violations.
Could the continued slow down be a result of coordinated rank-and-file resistance against Police Commissioner Bratton whose capstone policy is Broken Windows? Or are individual police officers simply following the advice of their Union President and doing their own risk/reward calculations when it comes to doling out tickets? Well, we may never know for sure. The Police Department has been characteristically hush hush about what the hell is going on.
The Times also found that while cops are getting back to work, this isn’t true for every precinct. The 49th Precinct in the Bronx issued no summonses last week. But it looks like the Mayor’s appeals to police officers to get back to working toward a “positive vision” wherein the city and the cops work together for the people of the city are finally having an impact.