The stars have aligned, the seas have parted, somewhere in the desert a bush burns, and the Mayor’s Commission to Combat Police Corruption has actually issued a report.
It was only the second report put out in three years by an agency that our old friend Rudy Giuliani created in 1995 as an “independent monitor” of the NYPD.
Given the length of time that it took to assemble, one might expect that this report would have some blockbuster stuff in it. Some serious combating-of-police-corruption, right?
Naaah. Instead, the commission chose to focus on how “less serious allegations of misconduct” are investigated by branch offices of the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau. In other words, the most bureaucratic subject it could find.
And the conclusions? The agency really got down to some nitty gritty, right?
“For the most part, the department is doing a good job,” quoth Marnie Blitt, the commission’s executive director.
That’s right. Ray Kelly, you’re doing a great job. Walk the red carpet at another celebrity gala on us.
At one time, the commission actually roused itself to issue a few
reports a year. But those days are over. The commission is generally so
unproductive, it didn’t even bother to release an annual report in
2007, 2003, 2002 or 2000–something it is required to do by its own
charter. And when allegations of widespread steroid use among police
officers proliferated in 2007, the commission raised nary a finger.
So, we had to ask: why has an agency with such a lofty mandate mustered so little work product?
“It’s not that we do so little,” Blitt says. “We’ve gone through some staffing changes.”
Pressed to explain, she says, “Anything further on that, you’ll have to speak to the commissioner.”
We left a message with Commission chair Michael Armstrong.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 9, 2009