NYPD cops had overwhelmingly unfavorable opinions of Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, but gave Commissioner William Bratton a more approving nod, according to a survey of thousands of rank and file officers commissioned by their union.
Asked if they had a “favorable or unfavorable opinion” of de Blasio and Mark-Viverito, 96 percent of respondents gave the mayor an unfavorable rating and 85 percent had the same disapproving view of the speaker.
Bratton received an approval rating from 66 percent of respondents to the email survey conducted over a three-week period in February by polling firm McLaughlin & Associates. The company sent the survey to 12,548 members of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association who had emails on file with the union and received completed questionnaires from 6,004 officers, a response rate of just under 50 percent.
“What we are saying is “City Hall, this is how our members feel, and it is real,” said PBA President Patrick Lynch at a news conference Tuesday announcing the full survey results.
Results reported Monday found low morale among cops who see the city as less safe since de Blasio took office and believe suspects are more likely to fight being taken into custody.
Lynch said the survey “is an opportunity for us to solve the problem.” Money issues, including a recent one-percent pay raise favored by an arbitrator, drove much of the discontent and morale problems found in the results, Lynch acknowledged. But he said he didn’t want to engage in finger pointing.
“What we want to do today is say here is what our members are thinking, here is how they feel unsupported in the NYPD,” Lynch said. “It is getting more dangerous on the street, it is more likely people will resist arrest.”
Monica Klein, a de Blasio spokeswoman, said in a statement that by hiring 1,300 new officers, getting more bulletproof vests, smartphones, tablets and pushing retraining, the mayor “ is aggressively supporting our hardworking officers.”
A spokeswoman for Mark-Viverito, Robin Levine, noted in a statement the speaker’s support for the hiring of new cops and the purchase of more vests, adding that “she will continue to work with Commissioner Bratton, the NYPD and the PBA to keep New York the safest big City in the world.”
A city official, who didn’t want to be identified, said cops who chose to respond to the survey likely were those who already had critical opinions when they decided to answer.
John McLauglin, a principal of the survey company, said at the news conference the response rate was “huge.”
“We do a lot of member participation studies, you don’t get that kind of response.” he said. “It is an extremely high participation rate.”
Since he took office in 2014, de Blasio has had a rocky relationship with police, underscored when some officers turned there backs on him after Detectives Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot to death. Recently, de Blasio’s efforts to build bridges with cops seemed to have been a bright spot in his administration.
When asked what they like about most about de Blasio, 62 percent stated “nothing,” while eight percent said “his term is up,” according to the survey.
Asked their view of Bratton, 66 percent of respondents said they approved, while 32 percent disapproved. Just 15 percent voiced strong approval of Bratton, according to the survey.