Forcing cops to provide receipts to people they stop — but don’t arrest — will invite complaints against the NYPD and make officers less aggressive, the head of city’s largest police union said Tuesday.
In other words, welcome to the bad old days.
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said the stop-and-frisk receipts list the contact information for the Civilian Complaint Review Board — an independent police watchdog group. The presence of the CCRB’s contact information on the receipts, Lynch says, will give rise to “retaliatory complaints” against cops.
“They are just one more item on the ever-growing list of anti-public-safety measures that will put an end to proactive policing in this city and ultimately accelerate the increase in crime and disorder that we are already seeing in our public spaces,” he said.
Under the NYPD pilot program, scheduled to begin Sept. 21, cops will have to fill out a receipt explaining why the stop was made if the person isn’t arrested. But Lynch says the receipts, along with other mandates resulting from a federal lawsuit over the constitutionality of the stops, make doing police work more difficult.
“It is time for our policymakers to stop heaping new burdens on police officers and to figure out how to unwind the damaging measures that are already in place before the erosion in public safety does serious damage to NYC’s economic health,” Lynch said.
The receipt-writing program follows a court-appointed monitor’s recommended reforms to the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk tactics. They include barring stops based on race and requiring cops to have reasonable suspicion before using the controversial tactic.
The change to the patrol guide was approved on Aug. 24.
“Based on the recommendations of the federal judge and court-appointed monitor, a new patrol guide procedure governing stop and frisk provides a new explanatory receipt to persons stopped but not arrested, baring exigent circumstances,” said NYPD Director of Communication J. Peter Donald.
The number of stops are on pace to plunge 42% by the end of the year. Some critics blamed the drop for a double-digit increase in murders earlier this summer. But the murder numbers have since leveled off with a 7% increase through Sunday.
Jenn Borchetta, senior counsel of the plaintiff’s legal team in the federal class action lawsuit that led to the appointment of a monitor over the NYPD, said the receipt program is a “good step” but “doesn’t go far enough.”
The receipts include a blank space where officers input their badge numbers. Her group wants information about the officer already on the card. There is also nothing connecting the receipt to the specific stop.