As crime soars, de Blasio says NYPD must be about ‘customer service’

Ex-NYPD lieutenant slams Mayor de Blasio for taking plainclothes officers off streets

Former NYPD Lt. Dr. Darrin Porcher argues increase in crime in New York City is a ‘byproduct of failed leadership.’

Kids are being gunned down on New York City’s streets and junkies have taken over a swath of Midtown Manhattan, but Mayor Bill de Blasio summed up his policing priorities in two words Thursday: “customer service.”

During his daily City Hall news conference, de Blasio ignored the pressing issue of public safety and called his “revolutionary” initiative for the NYPD “a paradigm shift,” saying, “Customer service has to be what the NYPD is about.”

He said part of the push would involve putting a “community guide” in each of the city’s police stations to greet visitors at the door.

The mayor, whose term ends this year, said he was motivated by years of complaints about cops who are sometimes “gruff and dismissive.”

“So many people who just were trying to exercise their rights to get information or file a concern or complaint, find out what’s happening with a case, they were treated in a way that doesn’t have anything to do with customer service or respect,” de Blasio said.

“That’s not acceptable and it’s not going to build the bond we need.”

NYPD Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes, who took part in the news conference, said that “all police officers are greeters” but added that de Blasio’s plan would help create a “warmer, kinder, friendly…gentle environment.”

Hizzoner’s remarks came just hours after Jaden Turnage, 16, was chased down a street in Bedford-Stuyvesant and fatally shot around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday.

The brazen killing followed the slaying of Cahlil Pennington, also 16, who was shot in the head during a broad-daylight gun battle along a commercial strip in East New York around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

On Saturday, The Post also exposed the rampant, open-air sale and injection of narcotics in Manhattan’s Garment District, which John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor Michael Alcazar, a former NYPD detective, said had helped turn the Big Apple into “the city of the walking dead.”

In response to a question from The Post at Thursday’s news conference, de Blasio defended his decision to focus on “customer service” amid the city’s surge in shootings by claiming that improving police-community relations “is absolutely [a] prerequisite to being as safe as we need to be.”

Holmes also said the NYPD was “always focused on violence, that’s at the top of the list.”

“If you think we can’t focus simultaneously on gun violence, you’re truly mistaken,” she said.

“We have eyes on both areas, which are equally important.”

An NYPD source called de Blasio’s “customer service” plan “just stupid and crazy,” while another described it as “utterly the most horrific idea I’ve heard thus far being on the job.”

“Since when did policing become like walking into a T-Mobile store? Policing is not a pretty business so let’s not pretend that it is,” the cop said.

“If someone is coming to a precinct, they have a problem that we need to deal with — not hope they give us a 5-star review on ‘UberPolice.'”

The cop added sarcastically, “I can’t wait for the next chief’s bright idea to put every member of service into an Instagram and we all get rated. Failure to have a minimum of followers will result in termination.”

Joseph Imperatrice, founder of the NYC Blue Lives Matter advocacy group, said positive reforms to the NYPD needed “to begin with a mayor that understands crime, can relate to the community but has a clear overall vision in mind.”

“All members of the police department need competent directions to understand what their function is on a daily basis,” he said.

“Policing is all over the place because the head politicians have no clue what they are doing.”

To read more from the New York Post, click here.

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