The NYPD slowdown has been a reality (albeit, one mostly unacknowledged by the NYPD) ever since two officers were killed in their squad car in Brooklyn on Dec. 20th. While Police Commissioner Bratton finally admitted to the slowdown yesterday (and also declared that it was over), the AP has some remarkable details about just how slow things got: cops gave out zero tickets to the 1 million+ revelers who spent New Year's Eve in Times Square.
AP notes that low-level arrests dropped about 61 percent in the two weeks following the shooting; summonses were down more than 90 percent; and Rikers Island's jails have about 2,000 fewer inmates. And this was New Year's Eve:
No tickets for having an open container of alcohol, no tickets for public urination, no tickets for double parking, no tickets for furry, costumed characters hassling tourists to take their picture. Add in low-level arrests, and there was just one, for a subway-related offense.
And that wasn't just on New Year's Eve. That was for the entire week containing the holiday. During the Christmas week, when the neon-lit streets were every bit as jammed, the total for such infractions was 23 - compared to more than 650 summonses per week the previous year, according to police statistics.
In light of that information plus other similar statistics, Bratton acknowledged the slowdown yesterday while emphasizing that it was 'over'...sort of? "The slowdown is over in the sense that the numbers are starting to go back up again," Bratton told reporters. "I anticipate by early next week that the numbers will return to their normalcy." According to the Times, Bratton spoke to union leaders on Wednesday and to commanders over the next two days; by Friday, rank-and-file officers were told during roll call to "start working again."
Bratton refused to place blame on anyone for the slowdown: "I don’t know what the cause is,” he said. "That’s 30,000-some-odd officers; that their motivations might be different for different ones...I’m not aware of any formal encouragement by union leadership in this matter." The police unions have denied any organized or sanctioned work slowdown, though the Daily News previously reported that Patrick Lynch, the head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association who amped up the rhetoric against Mayor de Blasio in the weeks since the tragic shooting, was behind it.