Patrick Lynch, the president of the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, says the solution to the stop and frisk controversy is not more oversight, but a commitment from the NYPD to eliminate quota pressure on police officers.
“The answer lies not in enforcing a judge’s ruling or listening to an inspector general, but in repairing the damage that two major policy shifts have wrought where the policing rubber meets the road,” Lynch writes in an op-ed published in today’s New York Daily News. “Those two shifts: sharply reduced staffing and an increased emphasis on quotas.”
Quotas, he writes “we’re convinced are what drove the past dramatic increase in stop, question and frisk activity … Quotas are the worst possible way to try to produce more effective policing. They risk turning officers in automatons and fuel predictable, pervasive distrust between cops and communities.”
Lynch points out that the NYPD is 7,000 officers smaller than it was 14 years ago. (According to the Independent Budget Office, the decline between 2000 and 2012 has been 5,775.)
In the same period, Lynch notes, the total number of city employees has grown. Indeed between 2000 and 2012, the city staff grew from just under 251,000 to more than 267,000. (The engine for that growth appears to come mostly from the Department of Education, which swelled by just under 18,000 employees to 118,716.