One thought crossed my mind as I read a New York Daily News story about the latest crop of rookies to join the New York Police Department. Why the hell would anyone in his or her right mind want to do that?
Don’t get me wrong. The New York Police Department is the single greatest urban law enforcement agency anywhere on the face of the planet. Most of New York’s Finest are honest, decent, hard-working men and women who risk their lives to keep Gotham safe.
But that’s not to say the NYPD is a perfect agency. Far from it. There are thousands of cops on the job. So of course there are some bad apples in the bunch. Sadly, the NYPD — like all large urban police departments in the United States and elsewhere — has its share of bullies, racists and thugs. At the moment, it seems that the NYPD also has its share — or perhaps more than its share — of corruption.
To make matters worse, Police Commissioner William J. “Bill” Bratton is so busy kissing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s butt, he doesn’t seem to care. For Bratton to tell more than 1,200 new cops who just graduated from the academy not to ensconce themselves in a “blue cocoon that isolates you from the community” is laughable.
What are they supposed to do, Bill? It’s not as if they’ll get any meaningful support from you or the mayor. All they’ll get from either one of you is a whole bunch of lip service.
Speaking of which, for de Blasio to be at Madison Square Garden for the graduation, much less say anything to the rookies is beyond laughable. It is disgusting. After all, this is a man who has never hidden his contempt for law enforcement. In 2014, he didn’t exactly encourage New Yorkers to attack cops during anti-police protests — but he didn’t exactly discourage it, either.
Yes, it’s all well and good for de Blasio to tell the rookies about the supportive community that will embrace them. I am sure there are a few law-abiding New Yorkers who do respect and support the NYPD. But in reality, anti-police rhetoric promoted by de Blasio, President Obama and some so-called “civil rights” groups has stoked hostility across the country.
All of this leads me back to my original question. Why would anyone in their right mind want to join the NYPD?
They’re not doing it for the money, that much is for sure. A rookie cop with the NYPD makes almost $46,000, which does not include overtime. After five-and-a-half years on the force, he or she makes almost $92,000 (not including overtime).
Now that may sound like a lot — and it is a decent amount of money for one person. It’s a great salary for one person who doesn’t have to live in or around New York City, where the cost of living is astronomical.
Having said that, de Blasio is right about one thing. He told the rookies they didn’t make “the easy choice,” but that they made the “noble choice.”
I just hope they don’t regret it.