Politico New York

08/10/2017 05:08 AM

Patrolmen's union endorses in Council races


The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association announced its backing of 11 candidates for City Council. | Getty

The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, the union representing rank and file New York police officers, announced its backing of 11 candidates for City Council, including one outspoken advocate of police reform, on Thursday.

Ritchie Torres, who represents parts of the Bronx, was behind the "Right to Know Act," along with Councilman Antonio Reynoso. The proposed legislation would have required officers to inform New Yorkers when they required consent for a search and identify themselves following stops. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito killed the legislation under a deal with the former police commissioner, Bill Bratton, who promised to make the changes administratively.

Nonetheless, Torres got the nod from the PBA in his reelection bid.

“There are going to be agreements and disagreements. But you can be honest about both," Torres said in an interview. "I wanted to have the endorsement of the PBA. This represents the finest police force in the world."

The PBA also endorsed Assemblyman Francisco Moya, who is running to replace Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. He faces a potentially tough race against Hiram Monserrate a former police officer, state senator and city councilman.

Monserrate was ejected from the Senate after he was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend at the time and was later convicted of fraud and conspiracy.

"The fact that the PBA would choose to not endorse a former member of the NYPD is a testament to just how repulsive the Hiram Monserrate campaign is and how disturbing his long record of corruption is," a spokesman for Moya's campaign, Jon Greenfield, said in a statement.

The union also backed Kamillah Hanks, who is challenging Councilwoman Debi Rose; Kalman Yeger, who is running to replace Councilman David Greenfield; and Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, who is running to replace Jimmy Vacca.

"I’m proud of the PBA’s endorsement of me," Gjonaj said. Of police reform he said, "We should always do better, but I certainly have a lot of respect for our boys in in blue … I certainly respect their courage."

The union also backed incumbents Fernando Cabrera, Barry Grodenchik, Ben Kallos, Peter Koo, Alan Maisel and Rafael Salamanca.