I often discuss the transformation of workplace culture and the obstacles that can stand in the way of implementing meaningful change. Reading in the news about the ongoing and public disagreements between the New York Police Department and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has been very concerning because a dysfunctional police department will have consequences that reach far beyond the walls of police stations to put many New Yorkers at risk.
NYPD INACTION GOES AGAINST PROMISE TO SERVE AND PROTECT
The disagreements have grown out of a backlash against the new mayor for attempting to change NYPD procedures from the top down, keeping promises in the platform that de Blasio campaigned on. Many police officers have responded by refraining from making arrests and enforcing the law as instructed. For instance, between December 29 and January 4, criminal summonses have been down from 4077 during that time the previous year to only 347. In refusing to fulfill the oath that they have sworn to protect and serve, the officers are acting treasonously, and they are essentially holding the citizens of the city hostage in order to try and force an elected figure to change policy.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?
An effective police force is needed to keep the peace and protect citizens in New York. Perhaps crime rates truly have dropped drastically, and if so it would be a perfect time to cut costs by scaling back on police services. However, it is much more likely that the current force has become ineffective. The unions claim that they are not behind this, but it’s hard to believe they wouldn’t be able to end the inaction if they wanted to. Perhaps de Blasio should take a page out of the Ronald Reagan playbook and offer an ultimatum to the NYPD, as the former President did to air traffic controllers, before the citizens of New York become collateral damage in an internal police department spat.