Home News Policing, not politics: NYPD has no role in electoral matters

Policing, not politics: NYPD has no role in electoral matters

On-duty cops are not supposed to be engaging in political debate. Certainly that hasn’t stopped NYPD members, up to chiefs, from participating in electoral discourse, but only through their actions as private individuals or using the vehicle of the unions, which are free to endorse and lobby and advocate for political outcomes, as they have done in countless forums including these very pages.

But in uniform and on watch, the task of police is to preserve public safety and good order, irrespective of any personal political preferences. Doing otherwise is not only improper, it imperils their vital mission to keep all New Yorkers safe (including critics of the NYPD).

Thus the matter of in-your-face public comments, particularly on social media, that police brass, notably Chief of Patrol John Chell, have been issuing. It seems that he overstepped a bright line in using his official X (formerly Twitter) account to call Queens Councilmember Tiffany Caban’s stances “garbage” and cryptically urge his followers to vote her out. The Department of Investigation is now reviewing the situation.

The NYPD brass should focus on crimefighting — a task New Yorkers of all political stripes care deeply about. Leave the politics to Mayor Adams. The department leaders should cool down and a message from Adams could be helpful in guiding them. The tweet storms are weighing down the honorable force that the mayor served well for 22 years.

Weighing in as they have may feel right, but may actually hurt not only their credibility — but the men and women in Blue who face tough situations on the streets every day. Protesters, for example, might not be much predisposed towards officers to begin with, but will be much less willing to cooperate when you have NYPD leaders openly musing about how they should all be arrested.

We hope that the NYPD brass’ combative stance is reversed before the DOI even finishes its inquiry.


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