New York Daily News

March 15, 2016, 12:01 PM

  

 

NYPD officers reluctant to take enforcement actions under threat of lawsuits, public complaints

BY THOMAS TRACY, GRAHAM RAYMAN

ANDREW BURTON/GETTY IMAGES
A new police poll showed that many members of the NYPD are reluctant to exercise force due to the threat of lawsuits or criticism from the public.

The vast majority of cops in the NYPD feel officers are reluctant to take enforcement actions out of fear of lawsuits and complaints from the public, new findings from a police union poll say.

The new data released Tuesday underscores a problem of low morale within the city’s force, police union leaders say.

STEFAN JEREMIAH/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch said, “We just want to take this to City Hall and say this is how our members feel.”

A full 97% of the 6,004 cops who responded to the poll believe they are hamstrung by the threat of lawsuits and public complaints. And 96% of polled cops disapprove of Mayor de Blasio’s policing and public safety policies.

The poll was conducted by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the city’s largest police union.

De Blasio questioned the methodology of the poll on Monday after some of the findings were released, saying the PBA likes to complain rather than make “constructive suggestions.”

“I don’t put a lot of stock in that survey,” the mayor said.

In all, 12,548 PBA members with an email address on file with the PBA were sent the survey, with almost half responding. The survey’s full findings were released at an event at the union’s headquarters Tuesday.

    
TODD MAISEL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS  
The poll showed that 66% of polled police officers approved of NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton’s work so far.  

De Blasio questioned the methodology of the poll on Monday after some of the findings were released, saying the PBA likes to complain rather than make “constructive suggestions.”

“I don’t put a lot of stock in that survey,” the mayor said.

In all, 12,548 PBA members with an email address on file with the PBA were sent the survey, with almost half responding. The survey’s full findings were released at an event at the union’s headquarters Tuesday.

This survey was not done in the basement of the PBA with a bunch of guys with pencils,” PBA President Patrick Lynch said, blasting back at the mayor’s questioning of the poll’s reliability. “This was done scientifically and professionally.”

“This survey is not finger pointing,” Lynch added. “We just want to take this to City Hall and say this is how our members feel — and this is real.”

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton got a 66% overall job approval rating in the poll, but 81% of cops feel the department’s new stop-and-frisk procedures limit their ability to make necessary stops.