Roughly 50 NYPD officers have ditched New York City for police departments in neighboring Long Island, with insiders citing an increasingly anti-police climate in the city and not enough pay, The New York Post reported Tuesday. The Nassau County Police Department in particular is receiving the brunt of these now-former city officers.
Since Friday, dozens of officers, many of whom had less than five years on the job, have quit the NYPD, even though it meant taking a pay cut in the short term, law enforcement sources told The Post.
“They are going to a department where they will be better appreciated by their community, local politicians and district attorneys who still value the job they do protecting innocent people and property over criminals,” said one source, describing the benefits of joining other police departments.
While they will make less money in the short run due to quitting, the NYC-turned-Nassau officers will ultimately make more money in the long run, sources told The Post.
The Post notes that Nassau County last held an entrance exam in January 2018 and still drawing from that list, according the department’s recruiting site. In spite of this hurdle, the officers made their exit amid large-scale Black Lives Matter and Defund The Police protests this summer and autumn, more restrictive policies, and NYPD funding cuts in the city’s budget.
New York City also saw a spike in crime over the summer, as well as some highly publicized incidents of violence toward, and the murder of police officers, with a lack of support from Mayor Bill de Blasio, with whom the NYPD has not had a friendly relationship.
According to The Post, it was not an overnight decision for these officers to leave the NYPD.
During the summer, NYPD officers were retiring at such a high rate that the department had to restrict the rate at which they could do so. In particular, one week at the beginning of July saw a 400% surge in retirements.
This low morale caused the Department of Homeland Security over the summer to actively try to recruit fed-up NYPD officers, according to The Post.
However, many of those retirements were senior investigators who had clocked in enough time to qualify for their pensions, while this new batch of officers are still young. This, The Post writes, means that this recent loss of officers to other departments will be felt longer within the NYPD, and that New York City has gotten less return on the money it had invested in training them than the retirees.
“The city spent millions of dollars training these cops hoping that they would be around for another 20-plus years,” said one Manhattan officer. “That money and experience just walked out the door, putting a further drain on the city’s budget nightmare.”
Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association union, blamed the city for unwillingness to cough up money for adequate law enforcement.
“We continue to lose trained, experienced police officers to Nassau County and other departments where they can earn up to 70 percent more,” said Lynch in a statement. “It’s yet another sign that New York City politicians don’t really care about improving policing in this city.
“What they want is fewer cops on streets, and their refusal to pay us a fair-market wage is getting them exactly that,” he added.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s independent review into sexual harassment allegations made against the currently scandal-ridden governor, saying, “I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”
Last Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, who served in his administration for over three years, accused Cuomo of suggesting to her on a 2017 flight that they play strip poker, inappropriate touching, and kissing her on the lips without her consent.
Following Boylan’s accusations, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett alleged the governor indicated interest in having an affair with her while she was serving in his administration as a health policy adviser. In a Saturday New York Times report, Bennett told the newspaper that Cuomo asked her if she had “ever been with an older man,” adding that “age doesn’t matter” in relationships.
At Wednesday’s press briefing, the Empire State governor addressed the accusations leveled against him over the past seven days by three women and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) independent review into those claims, which she announced on Monday was formally proceeding.
“As you probably know, the attorney general is doing an independent review, and I will fully cooperate with that review,” Cuomo said at the beginning of his statement. “Now, the lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until that review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer, too. But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.”
“First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor began. “And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly I am embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say. But that’s the truth.”
This echoes what Cuomo said in a Sunday statement about the allegations, in which he stated he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that.”
During his Wednesday remarks, Cuomo iterated “I never touched anyone inappropriately,” repeated that sentence, then said “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable” and repeated that one too.
“And I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued. “I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts, please, before forming an opinion.”
“I also want you to know that I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation for me as well as other people, and I’ve learned an important lesson,” the governor said at the end of his statement. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”
Amid Boylan and Bennett’s allegations, another report of Cuomo sexually harassing a woman has cropped up. On Monday, a woman named Anna Ruch accused the governor of placing his hands on her cheeks—without her consent—at a 2019 wedding reception and asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of the two together at the event has also been circulating on social media.
Asked at Wednesday’s briefing about the pictures that have resurfaced of him being touchy with people, particularly that of him and Ruch, the governor claimed that it is his way of greeting people.
“I understand the opinion of—and feelings of—Ms. Ruch,” Cuomo said. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people—women, children, men, etc. You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. […] It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”
Moreover, the governor said that his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would do the same thing.
“By the way, it was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, explaining, “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable, you want to reach out to them.”
He also mentioned that he kisses and hugs legislators and noted that at an event in Queens the other day he hugged pastors and state assembly members.
Furthermore, the governor said that his intent “doesn’t matter,” saying, “What it matters is if anybody was offended by it.”
“But if they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” he added, going on to say that if they were offended or hurt by it, he apologizes.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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