Dear Fellow Sergeant,
We began the new year with many positive things to look forward to.
After three years of often difficult negotiations we settled our contract – and it is currently pending ratification by the membership.
We have a new Mayor, Eric Adams, a former NYPD Captain, who has promised to put public safety first, which was in direct contrast to the previous administration.
Mayor Adams understands how difficult our job is, and has appointed a new Police Commissioner who has promised to support us in our efforts to keep New Yorkers, and ourselves, safe.
However, in a glaring example of sheer lunacy, newly elected Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced sweeping changes to the way his office will handle serious crimes.
Even such violent offenses as armed robbery could be downgraded to petit larceny with the stroke of a pen.
Within days of that proclamation, a shoplifter in the 13 Precinct used cutting shears to threaten store security personnel and make his escape with the stolen property.
I applaud the arresting Police Officer who rightfully charged the suspect with robbery, and refused to sign the accusatory instrument when the ADA made no mention of the cutting shears and wrote up the case as a simple petit larceny.
It should be noted that the suspect had 12 shoplifting arrests between November 2021 and early January 2022, but was free because of the imbecilic “bail reform” laws.
It is not our job to do battle with the DA’s office or interpret its policies, but this officer was protecting her own interests, as well as the interests of the public.
With no qualified immunity to protect us from frivolous lawsuits, it is important that we not be complicit in this political madness.
We have seen tremendous surges in crime the past few years, and it seems apparent that it is only going to get worse in the immediate future.
Should you find yourself in a similar position as the officer involved in that arrest, please immediately contact your delegate or director or an SBA board member.
We will face many challenges in 2022, including working amid the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
During these incredibly challenging times, I urge you to remain steadfast and safe, and find a degree of comfort in knowing the SBA will always have your back.
Vincent J. Vallelong
Sergeants Benevolent Association