Sunday, December 28, 2014

Is de Blasio Ready for the Big Time?

Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD 

When I started to work in municipal government one of my early mentors told me there are just a few vital things people want from their local government.

When their house is on fire they want the fire department to show up, when they flush the toilet they expect what's in there to disappear, they want good roads to drive on and they want their police department to keep them safe.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio must have missed at least part of that message.

de Blasio has managed to almost completely alienate the new York City Police Department rank and file.

You can see the details by Allen McDuffee in The Atlantic NYPD Commissioner Says Snubbing of Mayor de Blasio was ' Inappropriate'

I would expect the Police Commissioner to support the Mayor.

I spent 5 years in our local PD as a civilian employee and one of the things I noted was the impact of how the Administration viewed and respected the Police department.

de Blasio is a well educated man: New York University, Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University but as is frequently the case, common sense does not necessarily follow from high power education.

The circumstances surrounding Eric Garner's death were tragic and possibly avoidable but pandering to protesters and the headlines does not a Mayor make.

The New York Mayor has created a riff with the Police Unions and the rank and file that will be difficult to heal.

Policing cannot be effective if the Police, from the Commissioner right on down, don't believe the City Administration supports them. That does not mean the Mayor cannot be critical, but it needs to be done in a professional manner, not like another street protester.

It must not feel real good to be a New York City voter and wondering if the guy you voted in as Mayor has what it takes to run a City like New York.

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