New York Daily News

July 9, 2013



Civil Service: Patrolmen's Benevolent Association jumps on bandwagon against police oversight legislation

The PBA has launched an aggressive leafletting campaign against Council members who voted for bills to create an NYPD inspector general, and allow stop-and-frisk profiling lawsuits


Craig Warga/New York Daily News

PBA President Pat Lynch (c.) and his union's members are bashing Councilmembers such as Mark Weprin of Queens and Jessica Lappin of Manhattan, who support police oversight legislation.

The Bloomberg Administration and the city’s police unions have found an issue they can agree on.

Unfortunately — for the members of those unions — it’s not the terms of a long-overdue new collective bargaining agreement.

Instead the mayor and the unions have unleashed their collective fury at members of the City Council who voted for two controversial bills that provide oversight of the NYPD.

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association has launched an aggressive campaign against several members who voted for the bills with neighborhood leafletting as well as an on-line email barrage.

The eye-popping flyers charge the lawmakers voted for bills that will make neighborhoods more dangerous.

They are hoping to change at least one vote and prevent the override of an expected veto from Mayor Bloomberg.

City Council members Daniel Garodnick and Jessica Lappin of Manhattan and Mark Weprin of Queens were targeted last week.

More members and a mailing blitz could be in the works.

“City Council members are elected to give voice to the community that elected them,” PBA President Patrick Lynch said in a statement. “We are reaching out to constituents to encourage them to voice their concerns about these bills and to persuade their council member to defeat them when the override vote is taken.”

Lynch warned that if the Council does override Bloomberg’s veto, the union will “target all pro-crime council members for defeat in the upcoming election, supporting their opponents to the greatest extent possible within the legal framework.”

The bills were created in the wake of the current debate over “stop and frisk” policies by the NYPD.

One bill creates an inspector general to monitor the police. The other would allow people who have been stopped to sue if they believe they were profiled based on race, religion or sexual orientation.

Bloomberg and the unions believe the bills will have a “chilling effect” on policing and tie up police officers in endless lawsuits.

“I believe these two bills make the city safer,” said Weprin. “The bills do not end stop-and-frisk. They merely say you have to have cause to stop and frisk someone.”

Weprin said he feels bad for police officers who caught in the middle of an “overzealous mayor and police commissioner” who have set quotas for stop-and-frisk.”

“This is what is for the best interest of the city,” he said. “I’m sticking with my position and am happy to defend it.”

Lappin told the News’ City Hall Bureau Chief Jennifer Fermino she is also not changing her mind.

“If they think this kind of special interest bullying is going to work with me, they picked the wrong legislator,” she said.