Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows) wants the city to hire 1,000 new police officers, but not everyone agrees and he’s hearing about it big time on social media.
The councilman said he’s been vocal about the need for more officers, especially now that city budget negotiations are underway.
“I don’t know any of my constituents who don’t want more cops on the beat and in the community,” Lancman said during a phone interview on Tuesday. “Yet there is a small segment of the city who are anti-cop.”
Such groups as Occupy Wall Street have asked on social media if the councilman is on the police commissioner’s payroll and what his cut is if the funding is granted.
“Our officers put violent criminals behind bars, fight sex trafficking and take guns off the streets,” Lancman said. “They are stretched thin with staffing levels at their lowest point in over a decade.”
He noted that at the time of the 9/11 attacks, there were almost 41,000 NYPD officers, but the force has shrunk to 35,000, a number that he calls “unacceptably low.”
Lancman said he will continue to fight for the resources and manpower “to ensure our precincts keep us secure.”
He added that budget negotiations will continue to June and “my advocacy will become more intense. I’m vocal about what I care about and active on Twitter. I won’t let up and those on the other side probably won’t either.”
He said that members of Occupy Wall Street foster an anti-cop sentiment. “We can’t let those loonies hijack how we handle police-community relations.”
Lancman said the anti-police groups want him to call for Police Commissioner William Bratton to be fired, even though most crime continues to go down.
The councilman pointed out that in Queens over the last year four officers in the 103rd Precinct were attacked by a man wielding a hatchet and two women from Jamaica were arrested for allegedly trying to join ISIS and planning terrorists attacks on targets in New York City.
“These are just some examples of what our brave officers constantly combat,” he said, vowing to continue to fight for new officers to ensure “that we have the staffing levels we need to keep our city safe.”
He is supported in his efforts by many Council members including Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverto (D-Manhattan, Bronx), who recently received a letter opposing the hiring of additional officers from several groups such as Make the Road New York and New York Communities for Change.
They say the NYPD needs to be held accountable for police abuse and brutality and money could be spent better elsewhere.
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