The leader of the largest New York City police union is slamming Mayor Eric Adams for ordering straphangers to report officers seen using their cell phones – despite the fact that cops are ordered to use them while on duty.
On Tuesday, the Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York, which represents over 50,000 active and retired New York City Police officers, slammed Adams for encouraging fellow New Yorkers to snitch on NYPD officers who are using their phones on subway platforms while on duty.
Adams made the plea at a press conference Tuesday when asked by a journalist about reports of multiple uniformed cops scrolling through phones while guarding the city’s crime-ridden transport network.
The former NYPD captain warned: ‘We are going to start taking very aggressive actions to make sure police are patrolling our subway system and not patrolling their iPhone.’
NYC Mayor Eric Adams has encouraged straphangers to send him photos of cops seen using their cell phones while on duty guarding the city’s crime-ridden transport network
PBA President Patrick J. Lynch shot back at the idea of sending pictures of cops on their cellphones, saying that officers are forced to use the smartphones issued by the NYPD to document official duties
Adams struck a different note in March 2022 when he slammed members of the public who got too close to officers when they were making arrests
The mayor said that if New Yorkers send him photos of officers on their phones, he will be at that district the next day to ‘see exactly what’s happening’ – despite cops needing their phones for work
Images of NYPD cops using their phones while on duty have infuriated New Yorkers as the city battles an exponential rise in violent crime
‘If there’s a problem with cops using the phone on duty, NYPD management should change the police and go back to pen and paper,’ PBA President Patrick Lynch said in a statement
‘If you see it, send me a picture. I’ll go to that district the next day and see exactly what is happening.
‘Send me a shot. New Yorkers, you see that, send me a photo and I will be at that station.’
Adams’ spokesman told anyone with photos to send them to his press office, whose email address is [email protected].
But on Wednesday PBA President Patrick Lynch shot back at the idea, saying that officers are forced to use smartphones issued by the police department to document official duties.
‘New York City police officers did not ask for NYPD-issued smartphones- we were ordered to carry and use them,’ Lynch said in a statement. ‘We are now required to document every minute of our tours on these phones. Every form we are required to fill out and every alert we receive comes through the phone.’
‘If there’s a problem with cops using the phone on duty, NYPD management should change the police, and go back to pen and paper,’ he said.
Adams promised Tuesday that New Yorkers can look forward to a ‘visible difference in policing in the next couple of weeks.’
He spoke a fortnight after a gunman shot five people on a Brooklyn subway train, with numerous other horrifying crimes raising fears for commuters’ safety.
Deloitte manager Michelle Go, who was killed by a vagrant after being shoved off a subway platform at Times Square station and into the path of a moving train January.
Taking photos or videos of officers could come with limitations. In March 2022, the mayor slammed members of the public who got too close when recording officers.
He said at the time, ‘Stop being on top of my police officers while they carry on their jobs; not acceptable and won’t be tolerated. If your iPhone can’t catch that picture at a safe distance then you need to upgrade your iPhone.’
Despite Adams’ pledge to put more cops on trains, multiple subway platforms have been recently photographed without an officer in sight.
Despite Adams saying getting more cops on the train is a priority, multiple subway platforms, including Nassau Ave in Brooklyn, have been recently photographed without an officer in sight
No cops were seen on duty at the Graham Avenue subway station in Brooklyn on Wednesday
Adams previously announced plans earlier this year to boost the number of police officers on subway platforms and trains
Critics contend that focusing just on beefing up police isn’t a solution to making the city safe, but more investment is needed in mental health programs and other social services
No officers are seen at the Myrtle-Wyckoff subway station in Brooklyn on Wednesday, just weeks after a gunman shot multiple people on a subway train at the 36th Street station
Adams already announced plans earlier this year to boost the number of police officers on subway platforms and trains, and to address crime generally.
He has brought back a controversial police anti-gun unit, called for help from the federal government cracking down on ghost guns and pushed for changes to New York´s bail laws.
Critics contend that focusing just on beefing up police isn’t a solution, but more investment is needed in mental health programs and other social services.
The former New York City police captain took office in January with a central focus on making the city feel safe and trying to return it to some sense of normalcy post-pandemic.
But the latest figures show felony assaults are up 21 percent than at the same time in 2021, robbery is up nearly 47 percent, rape is up nearly 15 percent, and the percentage of shooting victims is up eight percent, according to the latest statistics from the city’s police department. Murders are down 13 percent.
Adams took office this year with a central focus on making the city feel safe, but violent crime rates have climbed since the pandemic, according to crime stats (pictured)
Frank James, the 62-year-old suspect in the Brooklyn shooting at the 36th Street station, spoke of his own mental health struggles in a series of YouTube videos
The mayor has been among Democrats who’ve pushed back on calls from liberals to cut police budgets and instead route resources to social services, and he has sought to bring back some controversial policing tactics, saying they can be employed as useful tools without a return to past abuses.
Since Adams took office Jan. 1, he’s been speaking about policing and crime frequently, as the list of frightening incidents piled up quickly.
The city saw a rash of random shootings, the killing of two police officers and attacks that included a woman – Michelle Go – shoved to her death in front of a train by a stranger.
Frantic commuters were seen trying to run for the exits after a gunman opened fire at a Brooklyn subway station on Tuesday morning
It also includes the terrifying subway shooing earlier this month in which 10 people were shot on a system that serves as the arteries of New York.
After the subway shooting earlier this month, Adams, in a series of interviews, discussed plans to increase the number of police officers patrolling the subways and suggested metal detectors could be installed in stations – a decision that ultimately would rest with the transit authority, which falls under state control.
Danny Pearlstein, a spokesman for the nonprofit Riders Alliance representing New York City bus and subway passengers, said that despite a high-profile incident like the shooting, the subway is still the safest way to get around the city, with traffic accidents and pedestrians being struck by cars a far more likely problem.
Rather than explore metal detectors and other ways to scrutinize passengers, he said New York needs a better transit system overall that gets more people on board and provides safety with strength in numbers.
‘By having transit that is faster and more reliable and gets to more places that people want to go is a way to boost ridership,’ he said.
De Blasio praised Adams´ attempts to address both crime and perceptions of crime, and said public safety experts recommend the best way to make the city feel safe is ‘more normalcy, more recovery from COVID.’
Getting people back on trains and back in the city is not just a reminder of New York’s resiliency, but also an added layer of eyes and ears to compliment the police, the former mayor said.
‘The overall reality is NYPD has actually done a very good job over the years of making the subway safer and safer,’ he said. ‘Police can do so much, but they can´t do it alone. They need eyes and ears – and cooperation of the public.’