After largely ignoring many minor offenses for two weeks, the New York police rank and file began to reverse a severe slowdown that began after two officers were killed and that raised questions about command of the department, reports the New York Times. New numbers released yesterday showed a marked increase in enforcement activity by police officers and traffic agents since Police Commissioner William Bratton told police commanders and union leaders last week that he expected an end to the unsanctioned collective action by officers.
Police activity was well short of its levels during the same period last year. In total, officers made 4,690 arrests in the week ending on Sunday. The number was down from 7,508 in the same week in 2014, but up from the 2,401 made from Dec. 29 to Jan. 4. In the week ending on Sunday, 5,550 parking summonses were written, up from 1,191 written the week before. During the same week in 2014, there were more than 21,000 parking summonses. Most are issued by civilian traffic agents, not its sworn officers. By focusing on activity numbers, Bratton found himself forced to do the very thing that critics declared a prime problem with the previous police administration. Bratton sought to distinguish his order, saying it was about quality arrests, not officers reaching a quota of activity for a given week or month.