Every few years, the New York City Police Department is hit with a corruption scandal. And every few years, lawmakers call for overhauling the force and changing its culture.
But the NYPD’s current scandal is different, and I predict it will widen as investigators delve deeper into a web of quid-pro-quo relationships between the Hasidic community and cops [“NYPD’s history of graft,” News, April 22].
Forty years ago, the catchwords “pads” and “bagmen” made headlines, referring to protection money (pads) to police (bagmen) from known gamblers. Twenty years later, “scores” and “booming doors” made news, referring to cops who boomed down drug dealers’ doors and kept drugs they found. Today, it’s being “known” at headquarters, in the way that a suspected wrongdoer is protected by senior officers. While the phrases are different, the meanings are the same.
Former Chief of Department Philip Banks III is among those under investigation. In addition, several other officers have been transferred or placed on modified assignment for allegedly taking gifts in return for favors. This has cast a dim light over the nation’s largest police force.
Somewhere out of this mess will surface another Det. Frank Serpico to give clarity to what went so wrong.
Nicholas Casale, Baldwin
Editor’s note: The writer is a retired NYPD detective first grade and was deputy director of police and counterterrorism for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.