De Blasio Orders NYPD To Shift Focus To “Customer Service” Amid Surge In Shootings
News stories about the upsurge in crime and catastrophes in general – from hurricanes to worsening rat infestations – have become a staple of our coverage over the last 18 months as the biggest city in the world’s largest economy (and, as this month’s UNGA reminded us, the closest thing humanity has to a world capital) has seen a surge in both violent and non-violent crime.
Although it was decidedly more tame than the summer of 2020 – which saw looting, massive riots and the burning of a police precinct by mobs of “protesters” (the intense racial acrimony spawned by George Floyd’s killing was one of the most intense waves America has endured since the Civil Rights movement) – the summer of 2021 was hardly calm.
For weeks, a mix of junkies, partiers, criminals, the homeless, Liberal Arts students (enjoying their summer vacation) and other hangers-on with little or nothing to do during the day gathered in Washington Square Park to party the night away, consuming copious amounts of alcohol and illegal drugs more or less openly, while police were restrained by the mayor to loosely manage the chaos.
In that same vein, Hizzoner NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio (who won’t be possessed of his title for very much longer) said Thursday during a press conference that his policing priorities during the waning days of his mayorship could be summed up in two words: “customer service.”
Describing his vision as a “paradigm shift” (if perhaps not one that most would welcome), de Blasio insisted that “customer service has to be what the NYPD is about.”
De Blasio followed that up by claiming that the public – or at the very least certain segments of it – have been “treated in a way” that doesn’t resemble “customer service or respect.”
“So many people who just were trying to exercise their rights to get information or file a concern or complaint, find out what’s happening with a case, they were treated in a way that doesn’t have anything to do with customer service or respect,” de Blasio said.
The mayor, whose term ends this year, said he was motivated by years of complaints about cops who are sometimes “gruff and dismissive.”
NYPD Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes, who participated alongside de Blasio, playing the part of his talking NYPD meat puppet, said that “all police officers are greeters” but added that de Blasio’s plan would help create a “warmer, kinder, friendly…gentle environment.” The rank and file are going to love that.
Asked whether the department’s energy might be better spent trying to reverse the surge in shootings, de Blasio – who infamously slashed the department’s funding in the wake of last year’s backlash against policing – claimed that improving relations with the community would accomplish exactly that.
We wonder: what does de Blasio expect from his city’s police. Are they supposed to smile and shake your hand when they pull you over? We would definitely love to hear him elaborate on this.
Fri, 10/01/2021 – 17:20