New York Daily News

March 20, 2002

PBA to Vote on New Name

By BILL FARRELL
Daily News Staff Writer

ne of Patrick Lynch's promises when he ran for president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association union was that he would push to make the name of the union gender-neutral.

Whenever asked, he always said he supported a change in the bylaws, but it never got done.

Lynch always pointed to other issues facing the union. There was work to be done on a new contract, and the union was dealing with criminal trials of the police officers in the Abner Louima abuse case and the shooting of Amadou Diallo.

"We'll get it done," Lynch told us over breakfast nearly a year ago.

Now it appears it will get done by May.

"Sept. 11 changed everything," said John Flynn, the Manhattan South trustee and delegate from the 13th Precinct. Police Officer Moira Smith of the 13th Precinct was one of 23 police officers who were killed on Sept. 11.

Flynn was one of five delegates who introduced the resolution, along with two others from Smith's 13th Precinct in Manhattan, and two from the Police Training Academy, where Smith's husband, James, is assigned.

"It will be read and voted on at the May meeting, and it will pass," said a confident Flynn. "Once the delegates vote, it is done."

Once done, it may make the matter a nonissue in next year's PBA election.

After all, according to the NYPD, women make up more than 15% of the department. That's a lot of votes.

Detective Julie Koniosis, president of the Policewomen's Endowment Association, wondered why it took so long at all.

"We don't know why it was such a big deal," Koniosis said. "It's only a matter of changing a corporate name."