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by Peter Moskos

August 22, 2013

"Council Overrules Bloomberg on Police Monitor and Profiling Suits"

So reports the Times. I would not have voted for this because it's perceived as anti-police, but once again, I say that Ray Kelly get what they had coming. You do work for the city, and you've shown nothing but scorn for those who try and make the NYPD better. The chickens coming home to roost and all that.

If the NYPD weren't so goddamned tone-def and oblivious -- not just oblivious but actively hostile to any constructive criticism and to the non-criminal residents (and academic researchers) of they city they work for -- this never would have happened.

For instance, quotas are illegal. They have been and continue to be. So the police brass invented the term "productivity goals" to hide a quota by any other name. But the rank-and-file officers aren't dumb. They know a quota when they get f*cked by one. Instead of being semantically clever the NYPD could have simply stopped using UF-250s as signs of "productivity."

I do hope this doesn't mark the turning point to the rise in crime. The shame is that if crime does go up, those who debated this law won't look changes in police practice but rather focus on all so-called "root causes" that have less to do with crime than any sociologists wants to admit.

If police stop policing, it would be horrible. And Ray Kelly will be out, so he won't be around to take the blame for the consequences of his actions. There's nothing in this law that lessons effective policing. It wasn't easy to get more police to start being real police in the 1990s. I suspect it will be much easier to get cops to stop working next year.

Of course crime doesn't have to go up. It's not inevitable. Stops can go down and crime can stay down. It happened last year (the NYPD gets kind of schizo explaining this seeming contradiction) because the stops that weren't made last year were probably not the ones based on honest police-honed suspicion.

If the NYPD weren't so damned closed to the city around them -- if the NYPD had simply stopped making so many stops and marijuana arrests before the shit hit the fan -- this never would happened. The NYPD can blame liberals in the city council. But really, they had it coming.


Anonymous said...

Since the NYPD is known to under report crime, it's easily within their power to make crime go "up".

PCM said...

They could, but that won't be the way it works. Crime fudging happens when a ranking officer pressures (intentionally or not) officers under his command to do something. It's not a systematic top-down conspiracy. I can't conceive or how a district commander would get back from compstat and emote the message that crime should go up.