The New York City Police Benevolent Association (NYCPBA) announced Tuesday it would travel to Miami, Florida and protest de Blasio’s “abysmal leadership” outside of the first debate. The group’s president, Patrick Lynch, said he and more than two dozens members of his union felt compelled to do so in order to warn voters about the mayor’s record.
“Over the past six years, he has offered city workers below-inflation raises, cut health benefits for both current employees and retirees, all while boosting his own pay by 15 percent,” Lynch said in a statement.
The union president went further by accusing de Blasio of placing “political ambitions” over his responsibilities to the citizens of New York City.
“He has devoted far more time to chasing his own political ambitions than to addressing New York City’s myriad crises— the population of homeless New Yorkers is ballooning and the mental healthcare system is in shambles, all of which has only added to the challenges police officers face on the streets,” Lynch said.
He added this was only the latest effort to warn “voters across the country about Mayor de Blasio’s labor hypocrisy.”
NYCPBA’s members will rally for three hours before the debate is scheduled to start. Joining them will be members from local Florida police unions as well as retired members of the New York Police Department now residing in the state.
To make its presence known, the union took out a full-page ad in Wednesday’s edition of The Miami Herald mocking de Blasio’s promise to “put working people first” as president.
The union has long been a thorn in the mayor’s side, not only on labor issues but also over de Blasio’s attempts to reform the criminal justice system. Lynch, particularly, has been an outspoken critic of the mayor’s community policing strategy, arguing it only serves to tie the hands of law enforcement without making the community any safer.
This is also not the first time the union has sought to undercut the mayor’s White House ambitions. Last year, it sent officers to protest de Blasio’s “phony progressive” agenda while the mayor toured Iowa.