NYPD Was Supposed To Replace Hundreds Of Cops Working Administrative Jobs With Civilians. It Never Did.

from the then-it-lied-about-it dept

There’s apparently nothing the New York Police Department won’t lie about. When it comes to being overseen, the NYPD seems to feel it has no obligation to provide data, answer questions honestly, or cooperate with any accountability efforts.

And the NYPD has made it clear it doesn’t believe city laws (or even its own internal policies) should apply to it. Multiple legal rulings over the past several years have ordered the NYPD to staff administrative positions with civilian employees, rather than (much more costly) uniformed officers. This is part of being a good public servant — one that seeks ways to reduce the cost of services provided to the public.

It just makes sense. Officers who are out on the street should receive higher salaries that reflect the dangers they face as they perform their duties. If they’re just running a desk, the pay should be lower. The fewer higher-paid cops staffing desk jobs, the more money available to hire uniformed officers to work the streets.

But the NYPD doesn’t want to do that. And since it hasn’t, it has had to find ways to cover up its decision to ignore city policies and court orders.

For five years, the NYPD told the City Council in quarterly reports that it had over time replaced hundreds of cops handling clerical duties with less expensive civilian employees.

But when city auditors asked for data to back up the figures, the department produced “three different datasets, none of which were consistent with the other,” according to City Comptroller Brad Lander’s first published audit, which was initiated by his predecessor.

“The NYPD was not able to provide supporting data for the progress it has reported,” the audit being released Friday found.

Not only that, but the NYPD refused to provide information on payroll for uniformed staff currently performing administrative work, making it impossible for the city auditor to estimate how much the department could save by replacing officers with civilian employees. As of 2002, it was estimated the NYPD could save more than $24 million by converting certain positions. Presumably, the potential savings are much higher two decades later, but there’s no way of estimating the current potential savings, thanks to the lack of cooperation from the PD.

Any savings would be appreciated. The NYPD’s budget hovers around $5-6 billion a year. In reality, the amount of money New Yorkers pay to keep the NYPD in business is roughly double that. So, there appears to be plenty of money for hiring civilians, especially when offset by the cost of putting existing officers back on patrol, rather than spending millions to educate and certify a new class of police academy candidates.

In response to the auditor’s recommendations, the NYPD offered excuses (supposed budget limitations) and bluster (ignoring the recommendation by talking about something else instead). If this is going to change (and it has been in the works since late 2015), the city will actually need to take action against the NYPD if it fails to move forward with these directives. If it doesn’t, it will further solidify the NYPD’s power, making it even more difficult for its oversight to do its job and for those overseeing the department to enforce needed changes.

Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “NYPD Was Supposed To Replace Hundreds Of Cops Working Administrative Jobs With Civilians. It Never Did.”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
NYC native says:

Who's the Boss


NYPD has consistently demonstrated for decades that it is virtually an independent branch of the nominal NYC government.

NYPD is the largest and most powerful municipal police department in the world — and its entrenched bureaucracy certainly knows how to use that power very effectively politically and financially for itself.

Real issue is why NYC Mayors and City Councils are routinely unable to manage or even control their police department.
But its obvious to impartial observers that the entire NYC government is dysfunctional and sharply detached from the interests of normal NYC residents.

Guess how this dystopian situation came to be …. ?

Bergman (profile) says:

Re: Who's the Boss

If NYC ever finally has enough and decides to find a different policing option than the NYPD, I fully expect a large portion of the NYPD to simply ignore the disbandment order, and ramp up their revenue generation to make up for the elimination of all city funding.

For a lot of people, the conversion of the NYPD into a bandit gang or mafia would produce zero changes in their interactions.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

'You refuse to comply? Your budget just shrank by 10 million.'

So long as the city keeps asking the NYPD to change while continuing to pay them the organization has no reason to change or give a damn what the city might bluster about. Either start cutting funding until they comply or drop the pretense that the city has any interest in keeping the NYPD in check.

This comment has been deemed funny by the community.
K`Tetch (profile) says:

Yeah, but if those cops have to go out on the streets, they might die from fentanyl!

And if you replace tough, hardworking, strong NYPD officers with weak pathetic civilians (and totally glossing over that cops are civilians too) then think of the danger! if merely touching fentanyl can almost kill a cop, seeing a picture of it, or a report that references it will put some ‘civilian employee’ into some kind of coma at best!
And worse, with them not being part of the thin blue line of Omerta, what incentive is there for them to lose files and reports on officers and their actions when officers are being investigated, vital functions of officers in administrative roles.

ECA (profile) says:

Re: Where I come from.....

A Person I watch on YT, has a great discussion about whats going on in Downtown.
On an aside, there are allot of Foreign rulers that Love the USA proerty prices to invest into. Because if ever they need to LEAVE the country, that property is still under their control.
So we have some Property management companies that Love to Inflate prices on things, as those people DONT know what they are really getting.
Prices so High no one wants to Buy or rent them. Almost abandoned.

Also he is having problems with finding an OPEN city office during the pandemic. Let alone all those workers being paid even for not going to work.

Not the best people, in a Good place, at a good time. And you cant get rid of them.

PaulT (profile) says:


"As of 2002, it was estimated the NYPD could save more than $24 million by converting certain positions. Presumably, the potential savings are much higher two decades later"

"the NYPD offered excuses (supposed budget limitations)"

I’m not in a position to read the whole thing right now but… budget limitations prevent saving $24+ million?

Rocky says:

Re: Re:

Certainly, there isn’t an allocation in the budget for doing "Y" even though it would save X amount of money. Now, if this is pointed out and the budget isn’t adjusted it means that someone actually wants it that way – but government budgets can be very very anal in how it strictly enforces what is allowed to be done or not.

When it comes to the NYPD and considering everything else they said and done it’s just a bullshit statement.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...