Pay to Play Bus Contract Continues Connects to Feds Investigating Team de Blasio State Senate Money
De Blasio giving $30M to bus firm whose CEO donated to Democratic committee (NYP) For the third straight year, the de Blasio administration is planning to shell out roughly $30 million to a private bus company whose founder contributed to the mayor’s failed 2014 push to win Democrats control of Albany. City officials insist the proposed move by the Department of Small Business Services is designed to restore the pay of veteran workers at yellow bus firms who saw their wages slashed under contracts OK’d by the prior administration. But for the first two years of the program, only one firm — Reliant Transportation — has applied for and collected a haul of $61.2 million in taxpayer funds. Less than two months after the program first launched, Reliant CEO Alex Lodde donated $100,000 to an upstate Democratic committee as part of de Blasio’s controversial push to put Democrats in control of the state Senate. That failed bid is under investigation by the Manhattan DA and the Albany ethics panel, JCOPE. Critics say the city’s payments to restore Reliant workers are a giveaway of taxpayer funds and possibly illegal. While approval for the program initially went through City Council, years two and three avoided the council entirely by going through the Department. of Small Business Services. In 2014, city officials insisted it would be a one-year grant because legislation pending in Albany at the time would protect the veteran workers.
Lobbyist Ickes and the Bus Contracts
Back to the 70's A Cop On Every Train to Stop Slashing In Manhattan Cannot Arrests the Pissers
Arresteddevelopment: The City Council meddles in and micromanages public safety (NYDN) Under routine practice, cops would arrest a person found to have an outstanding warrant for an offense such as an unpaid ticket for public drinking.
Starting March 7, the NYPD will no longer arrest people for minor infractions in
Manhattan (DNAINFO) * Memo reveals NYPD keeping close tabs on spike in slashings (NYP) * Decriminalization of quality-of-life offenses may not last: Bratton (NYP) Police Commissioner Bill Bratton left the door open Wednesday to rolling back a new initiative designed to cut arrests for drinking and urinating in public, saying he’d turn up the dial on aggressive policing if the new, more laissez-faire approach didn’t work. “If things were to begin to change, we have the ability to start increasing our enforcement activity,” Bratton said at a press conference in Brooklyn. “Like a doctor that you go to, we are constantly monitoring through Compstat where things need to be adjusted.” Just a day before, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. announced he wouldn’t prosecute suspects for the quality-of-life offenses. The DA’s plan drew written endorsements from both Mayor de Blasio and Bratton, but also the ire of critics like the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald, who described it as a sign that public disorder “will grow even worse.”* A proposal to reduce arrests for minor offenses such as public drinking that was unveiled by the de Blasio administration is receiving a rough reception from some members of the New York City Council. * NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton left the door open to rolling back an initiative designed to cut arrests for drinking and urinating in public, saying he’d turn up the dial on policing if the more laissez-faire approach didn’t work, the Post reports: * Members of the New York City Council aren’t happy that Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito was left out of the formation of the new policy from the city, the NYPD and the Manhattan district attorney, the Journal writes: * The NYPD is preparing to expand its body camera program, with a plan to deploy 1,000 cameras this summer, as a pilot program that saw one precinct use 54 of the recording devices is winding down, The Wall StreetJournal reports: ***NYPD putting a cop on every subway to combat slashings (NYP) While Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and Mayor de Blasio have tried to downplay the recent rash of subway slashings, the NYPD is putting a cop on every train at night — and patrolling each one car-by-car — to address the frightening trend, police sources said on Tuesday. “That’s what we used to do,” a police source said, referring to the 1980s and ’90s. “It’s omnipresence. This way, people never know when or where the cops are going to be. When people don’t see the police, the inmates are running the asylum. They don’t see any authority.” The Manhattan Transit Task Force will be pull 60 cops from around the city for the overnight train duty as early as the end of the week, sources said. * De Blasio wants Manhattan’sloose new booze and urine rules to spread to all boroughs
NYPD Rikers More Subway Slashings Updates
Overall crime was up last month in NYC, but the NYPD is touting a drop in murders and shootings so far this year.Remembering Officer Edward Byrne
ROOKIE COP DEAD: NYPD Officer Edward Byrne is gunned down while guarding drug witness in Queens in 1988 (NYDN) * WHAT A COP-OUT! NYPD captain clocked out, ended workday minutes after 2 Brooklyn cops were shot in line of duty — now faces demotion (NYDN) * Judge orders unsealing of NYPD summons info for quota lawsuit (NYDN) * SHUT IT DOWN: Melissa Mark-Viverito says opposing her plan to close Rikers Island is ‘ridiculous’ (NYDN) * City Poll: Most NYC Residents Believe NYPD is Racially Biased (NY1) * NYPD Investigates Latest Subway Slashing (NY1)* It just keeps happening with random crazed attacks on NewYorkers (NYDN) * Bratton praises transit cops who used smartphones to nab murder suspect on Brooklyn subway platform (NYDN) * 2 men slashed near Flatiron District club (NYDN) * The Daily News writes that while police officers deserve the generous pensions they receive to ensure they’re made whole financially if injured on the job, that status should be made public to prevent the abuse of the system: *The NYPD is wrapping up a pilot program that outfitted officers with body cameras, taking the 54 recording devices off city streets in the coming weeks as it prepares to expand to 1,000 cameras this summer.
For 25 Years the NYPD Has Been Trying to Fix Subway Police Radio's
Radio Upgrade to Link New York Officers in Subway and on Street (NYT) A move to improve communications for the police comes after decades of delays.* More than 20 years after an agreement was signed to do so, a new plan to have all NYC officers use the same radio frequency bandwidth was announced by the police and leaders of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
DA Vance Joins Speakers Quality of Life Piss Party
The Manhattan district attorney will no longer prosecute quality-of-life offenses such as public urination, drinking in public, littering and misdeeds in the subway — and even those with outstanding warrants would avoid jail. The new, free-pass policy was announced late Tuesday with written endorsements from Police Commissioner Bratton and Mayor de Blasio. Cyrus Vance Jr. said his office will now just issue summonses for such non-violent offenses, which he estimated will divert 10,000 cases a year from Manhattan Criminal Court. The unilateral policy shift seemed to embrace Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito’s January proposal for sweeping legislation to decriminalize non-violent offenses city-wide, which has yet to be put up for a vote. Law-and-order critics immediately slammed the move, saying it repeals the “Broken Windows” policy implemented by Bratton in the 1990s during his first stint as police commissioner under then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani.For her part, Mark-Viverito applauded Vance’s move but said a consistent city-wide law is needed to remove potentially hundreds of thousands of low-level , non-violent offenses from the court docket. Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson said, “I applaud this effort,” but declined to say whether he would do the same. The
Queens and Staten Island DA’s offices declined comment.* Manhattan DA hands another win to the cop-bashers — with Bill Bratton’s support (NYP) * The Post writes that the new policy announced by the Manhattan district attorney and the NYPD to halt the prosecution of low-level crimes in the borough is a sign of retreat by police commissioner Bill Bratton and a victory for “cop-bashers”* The new program, announced jointly with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, will allow police officers to increase their use of discretion and the DA's office will no longer prosecute quality of life violations unless the public is at risk, Vance's office announced Tuesday. "Through this initiative, we are devoting our resources to best protect and serve New Yorkers," Vance said in a statement. "By ensuring courts are not unnecessarily bogged down with minor offenses committed by those who pose no threat to public safety, we help focus police and prosecutorial resources on those who commit serious crimes." The new directive, which will only impact Manhattan, will take effect by next Monday. (Politico) -- Daily News headline: "Littering, public urination and other minor offenses in Manhattan will lead to summons and not arrest" * -- Observer's Jillian Jorgensen: "[I]f someone has an open summons warrant-let's say they didn't pay their summons the last time they got caught littering and then they get stopped for that again-they'll be 'detained,' according to the DA's office, and brought to court to face a judge on that summonses and the new one. But they won't be arrested." QUOTE OF DAY: "By ensuring courts are not unnecessarily bogged down with minor offenses committed by those who pose no threat to public safety, we help focus police and prosecutorial resources on those who commit serious crimes." -- Cy Vance, via WSJ: