In the wake of the ongoing ticket-fixing scandal police officers are thinking twice before writing tickets (for driving cars at least, trike-riding is another story). The Post today reports from inside a traffic supervisors' meeting at NYPD headquarters about the sudden drop in traffic tickets around town. At the meeting one brave Lieutenant reportedly came out and admitted that many cops are anxious they'll be reprimanded if they just do their job. Specifically, officers are worried that the Internal Affairs Bureau will punish them harshly for small clerical errors. Currently many of the Bronx cops connected with the ticket-fixing probe are being punished with ten days of forfeited vacation time, but some officers are saying that the IAB isn't stopping with ticket fixers.
"They don't want cops to be cops," one cop told the paper. And the tabloid isn't the only one talking about this. A Brooklyn officer recently confirmed to us that the IAB is docking ten vacation days and sending officers to GO15 (police court) for things as petty as losing a stub from a summons after inputting it into the computer. As such, many cops say they are simply stopping writing cellphone and driving tickets since it isn't worth losing the vacation. Which explains why the number of tickets written citywide last week was down 37.6 percent from the same week the year before.
As for NYPD brass, they're not admitting to anything. "Summonses are issued based on observed violations and may be influenced by any number of factors, including the NYPD head count, which is currently 6,000 lower than it was in [fiscal year] 2001," NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told the Post when asked about the drop in tickets.