Posting Of NYPD Officers Around The World Found To Be A Waste, Embarrassment

from the overreach-of-the-NYPD:-now-in-international-form! dept

As we mentioned recently, NYPD Chief Ray Kelly took a shot at the FBI on his way out of office, claiming the agency was unable to protect New York (and presumably lesser cities) from terrorist attacks. The problem, according to Kelly, is that the agency failed to share intelligence with his department, at least not enough to satisfy his counterterrorism officers. To that end, he formed the so-called Demographics Unit to violate the rights of surveil Muslims, mosques and anything else deemed potentially “terrorist-related” and placed it under the command of a former CIA official.

Not only that, but Ray Kelly figured his department could beat the FBI at its own intelligence-gathering game overseas. It sent out NYPD officers as uninvited guests to cities around the world. Again, this was done to fight the good fight against global terrorism. In reality, it was a waste of money that failed to produce useful intelligence, and the officers stationed overseas spent a lot of their time treading on the toes of the locals.

[F]ormer federal officials who served overseas told “On The Inside” the NYPD detectives are ineffective, often angering and confusing the foreign law enforcement officials they are trying to work with, and are usually relegated to the sidelines because they lack national security clearance.

For example, when bombs exploded at resorts in Bali in 2005, killing 20 and injuring hundreds, the Indonesian National Police “were astonished and irritated that the NYPD showed up,” a federal source explained.

Yes, even on an international scale, there’s never an NYPD officer around when you need one — just plenty of “help” no one asked for. (Presumably, the Bali police informed the bumptious interlopers that no one’s rights needed violating at the moment…) Not only did the NYPD’s ad hoc diplomats show up at the worst possible time, but they weren’t even in their (very loosely defined) “jurisdiction.”

That’s because those NYPD Intelligence Division detectives were based in Singapore, and were sent into a chaotic terrorism scene where they had no previous relationship with local law enforcement.

And even in Singapore, those detectives had no security clearance and no standing with the Singapore Internal Security Department, which is the agency tasked with combating terrorism.

The end result of all this bumbling? The NYPD’s overseas officers declared that the Bali bombing had “no nexus” with the bombing in New York — something US federal agents had already determined and passed along to other agencies in the pipeline, including the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force.

But the bumbling wasn’t limited to offending Bali police or Singapore security forces.

Another source said that NYPD detectives showed up at the funerals of victims of the Madrid rail bombings in 2004, angering local officials and victims’ families.

So, in addition to further damaging international relations, the NYPD’s forcible insertion of itself into tragedies occurring in other nations failed to produce nothing useful in the way of terrorist plots disrupted. This falls directly in line with its domestic efforts — casually stomping on civil liberties and civilian sensibilities in order to chalk up another zero in the “plots prevented” column.

Remember, the impetus for this program was Kelly’s belief the FBI didn’t share enough info with the department… or share it fast enough. But FBI agents who worked with the NYPD task force remember this a bit differently.

The NYPD already has more than 100 detectives on the FBI-Joint Terrorist Task Force with access to all the cutting-edge terror data available to the intelligence community. But apparently that’s not enough.

“The police brass always complained we were holding back information,” a top FBI official complained to me. “It bothered the s— out of me. We shared everything and never held back. Sometimes, they thought we were. But sometimes, we just did not know!”

Kelly trusted his own men more than he trusted the feds. There’s nothing specifically wrong with having confidence in your underlings. But when it results in the baffling decision to place NYPD eyes and ears around the world without seeking the permission or cooperation of local officials, it’s a problem. Kelly’s time at the helm of the NYPD has been marked by an insularity verging on paranoia.

Now that he’s leaving, it will be up to Commissioner Bill Bratton to decide whether the program, as useless (and expensive — $100k per officer per year) as it is, is allowed to continue. And, unfortunately, Bratton seems to believe the NYPD’s attempt to out-think the feds still has some merit.

He said he “understands Commissioner Kelly was very strongly supportive of it” and “I’ve heard nothing negative about it, quite frankly.”

That’s hardly a shocker. Maybe Bratton should consider asking someone not so heavily invested in obstinately pursuing useless programs to futile ends.

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Comments on “Posting Of NYPD Officers Around The World Found To Be A Waste, Embarrassment”

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william (profile) says:

In movies/TV we often see that local police and federal enforcement doesn’t play nice. I always thought it’s dramatization but I guess that kind of storyline does reflect reality is some way.

Does the local police (in this case NYPD) has some kind of inferior complex. It feel to me like the little dog is always barking at the larger dog JUST to try to show/secure their power, even when the larger dog doesn’t show any aggression (imagine a chihuahua circuling and barking incessantly at a great dane)

weneedhelp (profile) says:

His assumption that the “intelligence” agencies weren’t being forthcoming with terror info wasn’t that far off right?:

Now the ends dont justify the means and NYPD are no angels, but was he entirely wrong? I can see wanting to do something… but yet again… emotions won over logic.

Anonymous Coward says:

the thing shown the most here is how the USA in general cant keep it’s nose out of everywhere else business! it has to push in, it has to try to force itself on to others who dont want and didn’t ask for them. the situation that seems to follow on is a total disaster involving a lot of unnecessary deaths and injuries. why is it that the USA has this idea that it can go where it wants, do what it wants, uninvited and unwelcome and only clears off after fucking things up so badly that a whole lot of lies and bullshit still wont save it!

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