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NYPD Officer Brian Fusco of Suffolk to challenge PBA president Patrick Lynch in June

Patrick Lynch, head of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association,

Patrick Lynch, head of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, speaks during a news conference after the bodies of two fallen NYPD police officers were transported from Woodhull Medical Center on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Outspoken and controversial Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch is now facing competition when he comes up for re-election in June.

A slate of candidates known as the Strengthen the Shield platform kicked off its campaign in Brooklyn Tuesday, blasting Lynch's 16 years of what they call autocratic leadership and faulting him for a five-year delay in getting a new contract.

"Our platform is we are going to hear the membership," Brian Fusco, 46, an officer from the 72nd Precinct running for Lynch's job, told Newsday after the candidates' news conference in front of the Brooklyn precinct.

Fusco, who resides with his family in Suffolk County, but asked that his specific community not be disclosed, said while Lynch has been feisty, he doesn't deal with pension and disability issues in a concrete way and is autocratic.

"If it is not Patty's way, it is the highway," Fusco said. "He never has a plan."

A recent Quinnipiac Poll found that registered voters had a low approval rating for Lynch and his tactic of having cops turn their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio during the recent funerals of slain officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos and before that, at the hospital where the officers were taken.

Also running on Fusco's slate as vice presidents are two officers who were indicted in the Bronx ticket fixing scandal: Joseph Anthony and Michael Hernandez, both currently PBA trustees from the Bronx.

Fusco insisted Anthony, Hernandez and the other cops charged in the case were railroaded and was optimistic they could beat the charges.

The slate's candidates "are neither fresh nor do they offer new ideas," Lynch said in a statement.

"They offer criticism and dissent, but nothing productive," said Lynch, seeking a fifth four-year term. "They are running on the very issues that my administration has been and is actively pursuing," Lynch said.


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