Patrick Lynch, PBA President, Says Ending NYPD Quotas, Not Adding More Oversight, Is the Answer

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Patrolmen's Benevolent Association
Patrick Lynch
Patrick Lynch, the president of the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, says the solution to the stop and frisk controversy is not more oversight, but a commitment from the NYPD to eliminate quota pressure on police officers.

"The answer lies not in enforcing a judge's ruling or listening to an inspector general, but in repairing the damage that two major policy shifts have wrought where the policing rubber meets the road," Lynch writes in an op-ed published in today's New York Daily News. "Those two shifts: sharply reduced staffing and an increased emphasis on quotas."

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Bloomberg's Favorite Developer Slated to Get Another Huge Hudson Yards Tax Break--Taxpayers Pay the Penalty

Hudson Yards Plan
The Bloomberg administration is preparing to hand another $328 million in tax breaks to its favored developer, The Related Companies, for ... get this ... a fancy shopping mall and a high-end office skyscraper in the Hudson Yards project on the west side of Manhattan. [A early mockup of the finished site is at right.]

The board of the city's Industrial Development Agency, an off-shoot of the Economic Development Corp., is slated to hold a public hearing on the whopping proposed tax breaks on Oct. 10.

James Parrott, deputy director and chief economist of the Fiscal Policy Institute sharply criticized the giveaway. "It is the height of fiscal irresponsibility for the NYC IDA to provide massive taxpayer subsidies to a Manhattan luxury mall," he tells the Voice.

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Correction Department Failing to Keep Staff Firearm-Qualified; Thousands Out of Compliance

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Dora Schriro
Commissioner Dora Schriro's Correction Department is failing to follow through on required annual firearms qualification for thousands of officers, in violation of its own regulations and state law, the Village Voice has learned.

Figures obtained by the Voice from a DOC database indicate that as of Oct. 1, half of the correction staff at the Anna M. Kross Center was not qualified on their firearms, 40 percent each at the Robert N. Davoren Center and the Brooklyn Detention Center, 38 percent each at the Otis Bantum Correctional Center and the Eric M. Taylor Center, and 21 percent at the George R. Vierno Center. These constitute the bigger jails in the system.

"Mayor Bloomberg has put a lot of emphasis on gun licensing and gun control, so it's disgraceful that so many Correction officers are not getting qualified," Sidney Schwartzbaum, the president of the association of deputy wardens and assistant deputy wardens, tells the Voice.

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Matthew Matagrano, the Man Who Snuck His Way Into Jail, Pleads Out

Matthew Matagrano, a convicted sex offender who posed as a jails investigator to sneak into various Rikers Island facilities, pleaded guilty Wednesday and will be sentenced to 15 years in prison.

And so ends one of the more bizarre sagas to cross the desk of Correction Commissioner Dora Schriro in her tenure. You would think most folks would like to escape Rikers rather than sneak their way in. The story was first reported in the Village Voice.

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Michael Reilly, Retired NYPD Lieutenant and Impressively Coherent Write-In Candidate for Mayor, Talks About the Job

Mike Reilly
Mayoral write-in Mike Reilly
As the November 5 general election approaches, the major candidates are doing their usual two-step. Among the other lesser-known candidates, there is the write-in campaign for mayor of Mike Reilly, a retired NYPD lieutenant and member of Staten Island's school board.

We write about Reilly, a 40-year-old married father of three, because he's kind of a sensible voice of the outer-borough middle class--a group that the major candidates claim to champion, but often disappoint.

"The candidates refer to the middle class, but it's really the working class," Reilly says. "It's people working from check to check. The property tax bills and water bills are through the roof. And, unfortunately, they are not hearing us."

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Bloomberg: Looming Government Shutdown an Embarrassment

While everyone in Washington is running around with their hair on fire over the looming government shutdown, New Yorkers might want to worry about it a little themselves.

So suggested Mayor Bloomberg Monday, saying a shutdown would make the U.S. look like a third-world country, and adding that could eventually cause problems in the operations of city agencies. "At the beginning, it really doesn't hurt us," he said. "It is as you go into the process and people stop getting checks and services slowly get wound down--yes, if it lasted a long time."

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Alfonso D'Arco, Mob Boss, Turncoat: His Extraordinary Story Detailed in New Book

FBI surveillance photo (Wikipedia)
Alfonso "Little Al" D'Arco

For authors Jerry Capeci and Tom Robbins, the long road to their fascinating new book about mafia boss Alfonso D'Arco, who became the federal government's most successful cooperator, began a decade ago.

In Mob Boss: The Life of Little Al, the Man Who Brought Down the Mafia, which hits bookstores today, Capeci and Robbins detail D'Arco's rise in the Lucchese crime family and his eventual decision to flip and help the government imprison 50 fellow mafiosi.

D'Arco is an extraordinary figure in city history--perhaps the last old-fashioned mobster, a man who stayed so far under law enforcement radar that when he agreed to cooperate in 1991, the feds didn't even have a case against him. He was also a killer who ordered hits, conducted at least one himself, and firebombed a Times Square strip club.

But the cloak-and-dagger story behind the story is almost as interesting.

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Mayor Bloomberg Uses Weekly Crime Press Release to Make Subtle Jab at Stop-and-Frisk Critics

Flickr user Rubenstein
Every week since August 27, just after the landmark court ruling which created a monitor for the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program in the face of heavy opposition from Mayor Bloomberg, the mayor's press office has been sending out a subtle reminder about the still-dropping crime rate.

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NYPD Hunts Serial Groper in the Bronx

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Cops are hunting a sexual deviant who has been prowling the Tremont section of the Bronx. He's wanted for groping two young women last week. The first took place on Thursday, September 26, just before 7 a.m., at the intersection of East 188th Street and Lorillard Place. The man approached a 20-year-old woman from behind and forcibly touched her, and then fled on foot.

The second took place on Friday, September 27, at Fairmount Place and Marmion Avenue, and involved a 26-year-old victim and a similar groping.

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NYPD Internal Affairs Went Digging For Dirt On Whistleblower Cop Adrian Schoolcraft's Father and Sister

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In the course of its investigation of whistleblower cop Adrian Schoolcraft, the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau not only ran his father's name through criminal databases, but his sister's name as well.

This revelatory tidbit emerged in federal court Tuesday during a hearing on Schoolcraft's lawsuit before U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet. It raises the question of whether it was proper for the NYPD to run the names of people through criminal databases when those people are merely potential witnesses and not under criminal investigation.

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