In the aftermath of the death of Eric Garner, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio instructed the NYPD to study feasible reform and institute changes to policy to rebuild public confidence in New York law enforcement. Mayor de Blasio named veteran police official, Michael Julian, to head the reform effort.
Among Julian’s recommendations: Distributing breath mints to police officers, using baby oil to disperse unruly demonstrators and coaxing police officers to end the use of profane language. Julian was quietly reassigned at the end of January.
Encouraging law enforcement to refrain from using profanity is praiseworthy; breath mints and baby oil are ludicrous. Julian’s recommendations are idiotic attempts at reform and illustrate a series of hasty decisions, most ridiculous, to reclaim legitimacy after a tragedy. These recommendations do little more than elicit a roll of the eyes.
While law enforcement should be constantly searching for methods to engage the community and devise the most operative policing strategies, one of the greatest threats to effective policing is the presence of individuals and organizations which are devoted to impugning the image of men and women who wear a badge. We need real reform, not breath mints.
[New York Post] [Photo courtesy William Miller]