Arrests plummet 66% with NYPD in virtual work stoppage
By Larry Celona, Shawn Cohen and Bruce Golding
December 29, 2014 | 11:30pm
It’s not a slowdown — it’s a virtual work stoppage.
NYPD traffic tickets and summonses for minor offenses have dropped off by a staggering 94 percent following the execution of two cops — as officers feel betrayed by the mayor and fear for their safety, The Post has learned.
The dramatic drop comes as Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio plan to hold an emergency summit on Tuesday with the heads of the five police unions to try to close the widening rift between cops and the administration.
The unprecedented meeting is being held at the new Police Academy in Queens at 2 p.m., sources said.
Angry union leaders have ordered drastic measures for their members since the Dec. 20 assassination of two NYPD cops in a patrol car, including that two units respond to every call.
It has helped contribute to a nose dive in low-level policing, with overall arrests down 66 percent for the week starting Dec. 22 compared with the same period in 2013, stats show.
Citations for traffic violations fell by 94 percent, from 10,069 to 587, during that time frame.
Summonses for low-level offenses like public drinking and urination also plunged 94 percent — from 4,831 to 300.
Even parking violations are way down, dropping by 92 percent, from 14,699 to 1,241.
Drug arrests by cops assigned to the NYPD’s Organized Crime Control Bureau — which are part of the overall number — dropped by 84 percent, from 382 to 63.
Statistics obtained by The Post show a dramatic drop in NYPD activity between Dec. 22 — the first weekday after the double cop assassination — and Sunday, compared with the same period last year.
Police sources said Monday that safety concerns were the main reason for the dropoff in police activity, but added that some cops were mounting an undeclared slowdown in protest of de Blasio’s response to the non-indictment in the police chokehold death of Eric Garner.
“The call last week from the PBA is what started it, but this has been simmering for a long time,” one source said.
“This is not a slowdown for slowdown’s sake. Cops are concerned, after the reaction from City Hall on the Garner case, about de Blasio not backing them.”
The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association has warned its members to put their safety first and not make arrests “unless absolutely necessary.”
Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins told The Post he’s glad de Blasio is meeting with the unions, but worries that it’s just a publicity stunt.
“I’m disappointed in the issuance of a press release announcing the meeting, which now raises concerns of sincerity,” he said.
“Is this about politics or is it about working through problems?”
Additional reporting by Yoav Gonen