Uncivil Servants was only launched last week, but it's already a hotbed of discussion. The website asks people to submit photographs of vehicles that are parked illegally (many times on sidewalks or in front of hydrants), but one commenter, "bklyncop1," questioned showing so police vehicle information for criminals to see - check out this thread from Monday. Another commenter, musha, wrote:
As I said, the plates are not necessary for this site to accomplish its goals.
The goals of this site are to make the city safer by correcting parking conditions that put others at risk. It is an admirable goal.
The goal of this site should not be to put the safety of officers or their families at risk, which you have a potential to do when you put our plate numbers on this site (not only on the pics, but in some cases highlighted captions)
Not everyone is law abiding. Not everyone comes to this site because they are seeking to make this city safer for those that drive, bike, and walk her streets.
Some people will come here to find more reasons to dislike cops. Others will already have such a dislike, and may be looking for ways to take action against a random cop or (if the cop is lucky) his personal property.
Now the NY Times looks at the debate. Matthew Roth of Transportation Alternatives, which runs the site, tells the Times he's sympathetic to officers' concerns, "This site is not meant to be pro-cop or anti-cop." However, TransAlt doesn't have the "money or manpower to alter, after the fact, the photographs already on the site." And the NYPD's response?
Official parking placards allow parking in some, but not all spaces that would otherwise be illegal. Placards do not exempt police or other vehicles parked in bus stops or in front of fire hydrants, for example.
Last week, the Police Department towed 12 vehicles displaying police and court placards that were parked illegally in Chinatown in the First Precinct.
Well, what do you think?
And Uncivil Servants is working on ways to have users black out plates before they post pictures.
Photograph by CrosbyMerchant on UncivilServants - it was taken Wednesday, March 14