New York Post
May 13, 2003

NEW YORK'S FINE-EST

By PHILIP MESSING and WILLIAM J. GORTA

May 13, 2003 -- The NYPD cares less about fighting crime than it does about raising money through summonses, the leader of the police union charged yesterday.

Pat Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association said the city was trying to close its budget gap "on the backs of working people and at the expense of police community relations."

"The NYPD has become a summons-generating machine, generating million of dollars to close the city's budget gap while eroding the relationship between the police and the communities they serve," Lynch said.

His shot across the bow of the Bloomberg administration is the second attack from a high-profile union leader in the past week.

On Saturday, Randi Weingarten, president of the city's teachers union, withdrew support from Bloomberg's education reform plan - just days after filing a lawsuit accusing the administration of racism in firing nearly 1,000 mostly minority classroom aides.

Citing statistics from the NYPD's Compstat weekly crime report, Lynch noted that cops issued nearly 6.7 percent more summonses in the first few months of 2003 compared to last year.

From Jan. 1 through April 21 this year, cops issued nearly 1.2 million tickets, up 75,700 from the same period last year, the union said.

The jump in summonses - including a nearly 16 percent hike in tickets for quality-of-life infractions - came despite the force having 1,009 fewer cops, Lynch said.

The most recent Compstat figures, which run Jan. 1 through May 11, show a less dramatic increase of 76,635 summonses this year, up 5.7 percent from last year.

Mayoral spokesman Ed Skyler denied the trend.

"It's bizarre that Pat Lynch, who at some point in his life was a police officer, would make such an amateurish mistake, but considering his motivations, I guess it's no surprise," he said.

Lynch is presently running for re-election as union president.

"The bottom line is the relationship police officers have with the community, and it is clear that in the precincts - where police officers serve the community - summons issuance is up significantly," said PBA spokesman Al O'Leary.