Joe Marino/NY Daily News/Getty Images

NYPD threatened with punishment for slowdown

Police officials reportedly ordered to deny vacation to officers not writing enough summons

New York City police officers who don’t issue more summonses and make more arrests will have their vacation requests denied by the department as part of an effort to stop a month-long work slowdown, the New York Post reported on Sunday. 

“Police officers around the city are now threatened with transfers, no vacation time and sick time unless they write summonses,” a police union source told the New York City tabloid.

From Dec. 22 to Dec. 27, police made 66 percent fewer arrests than they had during the same period last year. And criminal court summonses were down 94 percent during that same period.

The dramatic drops in the summonses and arrests come amid heightened tension between New York Police Department officers and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Last week, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told WNYC that the slowdown would end soon and that "managerial" steps were in the works to bring his police force back in line.

But police union head Pat Lynch blamed Bratton's policies for bad relations between the police force and the city's residents. 

"Making threats and moving the department back towards the quotas that initially created the ill will with the community will only make morale among police and the relationship with the community even worse," said Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (PBA), in a statement on the organization's website

"The PBA will be monitoring management to ensure that they work within the parameters of our contract and the law," he added.

The NYPD did not respond to inquiries from Al Jazeera regarding the report. 

The slowdown comes in the wake of the Dec. 20 shootings of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in Brooklyn by 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who later took his own life.

In the wake of the slaying, many officers said they felt less safe implementing the “broken windows” policing that Bratton first implemented on his first tour as NYPD chief 20 years ago.

Broken windows aims to stop small crimes, like drinking in public, before the perpetrators can commit bigger, violent offenses.

A police union source in the New York Post charged that the broken window policies disproportionately focuses on black and Hispanic communities.

“This is the same practice that caused officers to be labeled racist and abusers of power,” the police union source told the Post.

A police officer in Queens, who said he had seen the punitive measures in practice, put it to the paper a different way.

"The majority of [new] summonses written aren’t protecting the public in any way," he said.

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