|March 15, 20164:54 p.m.|
By Samuel Lieberman
|James Keivom-Pool/Getty Images|
|Well, that was awkward.|
It’s no secret that Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD have had a less-than-warm relationship — but the extent of discontent among police, if you accept the results of a new survey, is shocking. Almost every member of the department is down on de Blasio, according to a poll, the first of its kind, conducted by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. Of the 6,000 cops surveyed, 96 percent held an unfavorable opinion of the mayor, 88 percent had a “very unfavorable” opinion of him, and 87 percent said the city is less safe since de Blasio took over. The anti–de Blasio sentiment was so widespread that when asked what they liked “most” about the mayor 66 percent of the force said “nothing.”
Now, you do have to consider the source here. The PBA, which conducted the survey, is run by the noted rabble-rouser Pat Lynch, who proposed directing officers to act with "extreme discretion" — in other words, start shirking their duties — after two cops were shot in Bed-Stuy in 2014. Lynch has tussled with the two previous mayors before de Blasio and disowned Ray Kelly when he was police chief. That said, 6,000 people is a very large sample (the whole uniformed force is about 34,000), and the numbers are striking: 97 percent of cops said that de Blasio has created a city where criminals feel reassured, and 95 percent said that he has created a city that is anti-cop. On a scale of 1 to 10, morale averaged 2.5.
PBA members also expressed acrimony toward City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito: 85 percent of cops surveyed view her unfavorably. The only person to come out of this survey with any kind of good news was police commissioner Bill Bratton, who received a 66 percent positive rating.
"The results of this survey prove what we've been hearing time and time again from members over the past two years — the job is more difficult than ever, the dangers are greater, and morale is extremely low," said Lynch in a statement. "The understaffing, inadequate training, low pay and lack of support has had a chilling effect on police officers across the city." De Blasio's team, most likely sick of Lynch at this point, was not having any of it. They noted that crime is down 5.8 percent over the past two years and that, during that time, City Hall has hired more than 1,300 new cops, giving them new body armor, smartphones, and tablets.