The NYPD is playing host to a couple of different scandals at the moment; perhaps you've heard of them? Today I'm going to address the one that I feel hits closest to home: the so-called ticket scandal.
This morning, sixteen NYPD Officers will be charged for allegedly helping friends avoid paying tickets. The charges against 13 police officers, two sergeants and one lieutenant -- including delegates with the department's largest and most powerful union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association -- are the latest in a spate of corruption allegations against NYPD officers.
However, there's a MUCH MORE egregious scandal that's been popping off over in Manhattan: apparently, federal prosecutors in Manhattan brought conspiracy and other charges against five current and three former officers alleging they were part of a gun-running ring.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/10/28/nypd-officers-charged-after-allegedly-helping-friends-get-out-tickets/#ixzz1c54F6xzd
So I ask you this: are there levels of scandal? I'm pretty hard-nosed when it comes to crime, and honor, and even the appearance of impropriety. However, I don't see these two things as equal. Let me just say this: there are very few perks to this job. How much harm does it cause to get get your Dad or someone else's Dad out of a cell phone ticket? You could argue that it begins small...a little leeway here, a little give there...but I would counter the argument with this: if you work at Macy's, don't you get a Friends and Family Discount? If you work for the media, can you see to it that your kid's name is kept out of the paper? These two scandals are not even remotely comparable. The officers that ran a gun-running ring were putting other officers at risk by their actions...fellow brothers and sisters that put their life on the line every single night in the City that Never Sleeps.
Even the PBA President, Patrick Lynch has been quoted as saying: "This issue could have and should have been addressed differently," while talking about the ticket scandal.
Last fall, the NYPD, which has about 35,000 officers, installed a new computer system that tracks tickets and makes it much more difficult to tamper with the paper trail.
And that's a good thing. Except it makes men like my husband practically shit three golden bricks every time he goes to traffic court now: what if he loses a case, because the incident may have happened more than six months ago, or the person has a lawyer to represent them? Does he now have to worry about being accused of trying to get the guy off? Is it fair that every time he goes to traffic court he now has a concern about getting ripped vacation days...? Especially when he's done nothing wrong?
An old friend once told me: "Don't major on the minors."
I agree, and I've tried to live my life with that in mind.
I just wish the NYPD would follow my lead.