Police unions like Bratton

December 12, 2013

By Gloria Pazmino

The city's law enforcement unions say they're hopeful that incoming police commissioner Bill Bratton will address their concerns.

Following the mayor-elect's announcement of Bratton earlier today, Pat Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association called Bratton "wise and professional."

In a phone interview with Capital, Lynch addressed concerns about the NYPD's use of Compstat —the department's tracking tool for crime across its precincts. Bratton is credited with bringing it into the department when he was appointed commissioner under former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Today, the union believes that the data is mishandled and instead used to demand arrests and stops quotas of police officers who patrol the streets. Lynch is hopeful Bratton will use Compstat the way he says it was originally intended.

"Back then, the Compstat process was about getting results from the street. It wasn't about quotas or numbers," said Lynch, who was assigned to street patrol in Brooklyn's 90th precinct the last time Bratton headed the department. "Compstat helped to point to specific corners. It did not point at numbers."

Recalling his time as a street cop in the mid-90's, Lynch said he remembered Bratton taking the time to talk to officers on the ground and using that information to devise new techniques and policies.

"Bratton was always speaking to the union and speaking to officers we represent to find out how to implement the best strategy," said Lynch. "He understands that you have to support the shield to get the job done."

Detectives Endowment Association president Michael Palladino echoed the sentiment in a phone interview with Capital, calling Bratton a "true proven leader."

"The detectives union is certainly looking forward to working with him again," said Palladino who worked in the Bronx's 52nd precinct detective squad during Bratton's first tour.

Bratton's biggest immediate contribution, according to Palladino, will be an injection of morale.

"Right now, the NYPD is diminished and demoralized," he said. "It's a contract-less force, and although a commissioner can't help that, he will give a much needed shot of morale and boost the department."

In a statement Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, was also effusive, saying Bratton "brings out the best in people."

Bratton faces challenges, said Palladino, particularly because the city is so different than it was when he became police commissioner in 1994.

"We were crime-ridden and it was the pre 9/11 world," he said.