The New York Times

July 13, 2002

Metro Briefing

DANHATTAN: OFFICERS' SUSPENSION The president of the largest police union yesterday criticized Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly's decision to suspend three officers after two suspects escaped from their custody last week. Patrick Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, which represents about 23,000 officers, said that the officers were scapegoats for a department that lacked enough officers and equipment. Commissioner Kelly announced on Thursday that he was creating a task force to review the department's handling of suspects in custody and to figure out ways to improve their handling. Mr. Kelly responded to Mr. Lynch's remarks yesterday, saying, "It's a serious issue, and discipline is part of my role."