The rife between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s police appears to be easing, after de Blasio lunched with Edward Mullins of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, who had called the mayor a “total nincompoop,” reports the New York Times. Roy Richter, president of the Captains Endowment Association, said, “It's been a year filled with tragedies and disasters and horrible things, but I think that there is a dialogue now.” De Blasio has embraced longtime union calls to weed out frivolous lawsuits against officers more aggressively.
The mayor has vowed to veto a Council bill that would criminalize officers' use of chokeholds. The prospect of acquiring improved vests for officers came to the fore as part of an internal challenge to Patrick Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and the mayor's most visible police critic. De Blasio told the Times that news media reports were the first he had heard the extent of officers' concerns about vests. City Hall moved swiftly to set aside more than $7 million for the gear. “When, in this government, does anything happen that quickly?” Police Commissioner William Bratton said this month. “Not in my recollection.”