It used to be called “the Blue Flu.”
Cops, in the course of union negotiations, would deliberately slack on the job, or falsely call in sick (the “flu”) . . . just to get more moolah out of union contract negotiations.
Betraying a not wholly dissimilar epidemiology, New York’s finest have cut back on citations and arrests. According to a New York Times report, for “two consecutive weeks, New York City police officers have seemed to sit back, ignoring minor offenses and parking transgressions so completely that only 347 criminal summonses were written in the seven days through Sunday, down from 4,077 in the same period a year ago.”
This doesn’t seem union-directed, but a spontaneous result of the brutal police shootings that followed mass protests against police abuse . . . and seeming support for the protester’s critique from true-blue, left-leaning Mayor Bill de Blasio.
There is much apprehension about the police laggardness, of course.
But there is some jubilation, too, as folks receive fewer parking tickets. It’s mighty difficult to park in the Big Apple; a lot of folks appreciate the reprieve, however temporary.
The rap on the NYPD — and for that matter, police across the country — has regarded over-policing: enforcing the rulebook so aggressively that it becomes harassment. That sort of policing is counter-productive, leading to the current unrest, for instance.
Maybe we can learn something from this experiment in less policing.* We might discover that, in a lot of neighborhoods, less can be more.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* According to recent reports, city government and police officials are trying to crack down on the breakout of police restraint. Regardless of future efficacy of these efforts, inquiry into the results of the inadvertent experiment remain worthwhile.