With cops on edge following the assassination of two patrol officers on a Brooklyn street, many officers have started turning a blind eye to some minor crimes, sources told The Post, while a union mandate that two patrol cars respond to all police calls has led to slower response times to non-emergencies.
“I’m not writing any summonses. Do you think I’m going to stand there so someone can shoot me or hit me in the head with an ax?” One cop said Sunday, referring to the Dec. 20 slayings and another recent attack on the NYPD. “I’m concerned about my safety,” the cop added. “I want to go to home to my wife and kids.”
An NYPD supervisor noted, “My guys are writing almost no summonses, and probably only making arrests when they have to — like when a store catches a shoplifter.”
And the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association directive for cops to respond with at least two patrol cars has resulted in a manpower shortage that’s delaying response times to non-emergencies — such as burglaries or car crashes without injuries — to as much as four hours, sources said.
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton predicted a long, cold war between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD’s rank and file Sunday, while admitting that morale among cops was so low, the problem could no longer be denied.
Bratton said cops across the country also “feel under attack,” including from “the federal government at the highest levels.”
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Bratton said he was hoping to sit down with police union leaders this week, but conceded that tensions between cops and de Blasio weren’t likely to ease soon.
“I think it’s probably a rift that is going to go on for a while longer,” he said.Bratton also bluntly said that “morale in the department at this time is low.”
“There’s no getting around that. That’s the reality,” he told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Bratton condemned the thousands of cops who turned their backs on a live video feed of de Blasio’s eulogy for slain Officer Rafael Ramos during his funeral Saturday in Queens.
“I think it was very inappropriate at that event. That funeral was held to honor Officer Ramos,” Bratton said.
One cop in the crowd told The Post he didn’t turn his back on de Blasio, explaining, “I wanted to read his body language. And I listened to his hollow words. He came off as very insincere.”
A recently retired cop who attended the funeral also noted that police from around the country joined in the stunning display of resentment toward de Blasio.
“It’s a national protest against the mayor of New York,” the ex-cop said.
“Mayor de Blasio has lost all respect from men and women of the NYPD, and he will never get it back. Anything he tries to do now is going to be perceived as phony.”
A police union source said: “You can’t blame the officers. These guys are frustrated.”
“They have no way of voicing their opinion to the mayor who, quite honestly, still hasn’t shown them support,” the source said.
Ed Mullins, head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, called on de Blasio to step up.
“This is an issue that the mayor needs to resolve, not the commissioner. These are his policies and his administration that’s causing the problems, that’s put the city in the situation it’s in,” he said.
“The message is that the mayor is leaning on Bratton to solve his problems. That’s really a lack of leadership.”