Capital News 1:02 p.m. | Jan. 6, 2015

 

Lynch cites ‘precautions,’ but denies police slowdown

By Azi Paybarah

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Pat Lynch.

The head of the city’s largest police union denied on Tuesday that a dramatic drop in arrests and summonses is part of an orchestrated work slowdown.

“Following the senseless assassination of two fine police officers, precautions had to be taken to protect police officers so that they could protect the City’s communities," said Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, in a statement emailed to reporters under the subject line "NO SLOWDOWN."

"Statistics sometimes have to take a back seat to safety but as we saw last night in the 46 Precinct, New York City police officers, who could have closed their lockers and gone home after their shift ended, chose to respond to robbery in progress and sadly, were shot in the process," Lynch said in the statement. "Our members are out there doing their jobs and putting themselves in danger to keep this city safe just as they always do. That’s a clear demonstration of police officer’s dedication to duty and that there is no union initiated or supported slowdown.”

Police arrests and summonses dropped dramatically in recents weeks, compared to the same period last year.

Only 347 criminal summonses were written for the week ending Sunday, compared to 4,077 for the same week a year ago. During that time, officers made only 2,401 arrests, compared to 5,448 during the same time a year ago.

Last month, Capital reported that Lynch told union delegates, “The rules are made by them to hurt you. Well now we’ll use those rules to protect us,” and encouraged them to use “extreme discretion.”

The P.B.A. also denied at that time sending a memo to officers telling them “[a]t least two units are to respond to EVERY call” and “[a]bsolutely NO enforcement action in the form of arrests and or summonses is to be taken unless absolutely necessary.”