PBA survey reveals low morale and safety concerns among NYPD officers

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City police officers are on edge, less inclined to act, and more concerned for their own safety than ever before.

That is according to a survey of thousands of officers, commissioned by the PBA.

"What we're saying is, City Hall this is how our members feel, and it's real," said PBA President Pat Lynch.

In the survey, 97% blamed the mayor for creating "an environment where criminals feel emboldened to carry guns and use them".

96% said suspects are more likely to resist arrest, and 95% said they feel "less safe" while on duty.

"When you have New York City police officers saying they personally feel less safe and it's almost unanimous, that's a scary thought in this city," said pollster John McLaughlin.

Union leaders say it's no surprise that officers are more reluctant to act "for fear of lawsuits and complaints", that new guidelines on "stop, question and frisk" limit their effectiveness, and 70% now approve of body cameras.

"It's already happened a number of times where the public has said the cops have done something and then we've gone to the videotape," said Professor Joseph Giacalone of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "So I think this is a bonus for the cops more so than the public."

Giacalone, a retired NYPD detective, says morale matters, that the city can't afford a disengaged police force.

"You're going out there looking for guns, and now knives and razor blades. If the cops aren't doing that, there's a brtter chance of victimization to the public," he said.
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