NYPD Officer DUI Arrests
A large issue that the general population has with the police is that they take care of their own and that the rules which apply to us don’t apply to them. However, on April 17-18, 2014, it was revealed that three NYPD officers (two of whom were sergeants) were charged with DUI related offenses. You can read the names of the officers and the specifics of the arrests here.
This string of arrests, particularly because senior officers were involved, raises some major questions. Is this a new policy of the NYPD? Was this just a period of time to send a message, or will this be a new rule moving forward? Does this apply to drunk driving only or also for other common traffic offenses not involving alcohol?
One thing seems clear. A message has been sent that NYPD cops aren’t above the law (at least with regards to DUIs- the Stop & Frisk issues involving racial profiling are a different issue altogether).
Others might argue that even though they were charged with alcohol-related offenses, they will still receive special treatment by prosecutors and courts alike. That might be true- but that’s purely speculation at this point. These officers will likely receive some punishment (whether the ‘time’ fits the ‘crime’ or not) but this is significant nonetheless.
To me, it seems that the NYPD’s new chief, Bill Bratton, is making a concerted effort to restore some of the public trust following too many years of NYPD police action (this is a good example of the Stop & Frisk policy briefly mentioned above) that systematically broke the faith that New York’s people had for their police. Let’s hope Mr. Bratton’s policy is here to stay.