New York Daily News

Dec. 11, 2011


Facebook racial rants spur Jeffries' new push to make Finest live within five boros

Assemblyman proposing new legislation on residency

BY Sarah Armaghan

STATE Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries — prompted by racist Facebook rants believed to be from city cops — is launching a bill that would require new NYPD recruits to live in the five boroughs, he announced Sunday.

His legislative push in Albany comes after the NYPD said it would investigate the online posts that called West Indian Day Parade participants "animals."

"If you live in New York City, you're more likely to appreciate the need for racial unity and harmony in this city," the Brooklyn Democrat said.

Currently, NYPD members must live in the city or one of six suburban counties — Putnam, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland or Orange.

According to the NYPD's top spokesman Paul Browne, 53% of police officers are minorities, while 47% of the force is white. He added that 60% of the current Police Academy class are city residents.

The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association opposes any city residency requirement, saying that the base salary for a recruit is $41,975 — which makes it tough for many cops to live in the city.

"The first priority in hiring police officers should be to find individuals of the highest quality and then to pay them a salary that is competitive," PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said.

Efforts to mandate city residency for cops have failed repeatedly, said City Councilman Albert Vann, who tried to pass a similar bill year after year in the '90s when he was a state assemblyman.

He only once got it passed in the Assembly before it got shot down in the Senate, he said.

"It was disappointing more than frustrating," said Vann, who attributed the bill's failure to strong lobbying by the PBA. "I think it's more likely to pass now after (the Facebook) incident and the overwhelming anti-stop and frisk sentiment."