New York City is safer than it’s been in generations, but there does seem to be an alarming jump in the crime rate inside the New York Police Department, says NPR. In the past two months, members of the largest U.S. police force have been accused of fixing parking tickets, smuggling guns, and even planting drugs on innocent people.
Some observers think fixing tickets is more prevalent than Kelly is willing to admit. “This is an embedded way of life in the police department. And he’s done nothing to stop that until all this stuff hit the newspapers,” says Leonard Levitt, who has covered the department for years, first as a newspaper reporter, and now as the author of a blog and book called NYPD Confidential. In another city, the recent spate of corruption allegations might lead to an investigation, or jeopardize the job of the police commissioner. None of that has happened in New York so far. “We’re the only big police department in the United States without any sort of independent oversight,” says Richard Aborn, president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City. “Chicago has it, Philadelphia has it, L.A. has it. And unfortunately every 20 years, like clockwork, we get these very big scandals.”