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  • I'm sure this is what they had in mind...

    ...when they joined the force.


    These guys would ticket a funeral
    Don't blame us, New York cops say

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    John Tracy / New York Daily News
    Crystal Rivera in the 59th St. N and R train station in Brooklyn holds a $50 ticket she says she received for sitting on steps at 86th St. R train Station.

    NEW YORK -- A crime wave is sweeping the Big Apple.

    In recent weeks, police have nabbed an 86-year-old man for unlawfully feeding pigeons, a teenager relaxing on a street corner for "unauthorized use of a milk crate" and a handful of small stores for having too many words printed on their awnings.

    Sal Boyd, who owns the Gift Mart on 14th Street, said he was slapped with a $400 fine, apparently because an obscure 1961 ordinance permits only a store's name and street number to appear on awnings.

    Boyd said his sign displayed four or five additional words such as "T-shirts, luggage, sunglasses."

    "If you don't tell people what you are selling, you could go out of business," he said. "I've been here three years and have never heard of this before. It's like I committed some kind of major crime or something."

    Critics say the cash-strapped city has launched a ticket blitz to help close a $3.8 billion budget gap.

    The police union is so embarrassed it has begun a "Don't Blame the Cop" ad campaign.

    "This is a crisis for New York City," said Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association. "This is eroding the trust between the police and the public."

    Lynch said police are under pressure to write more tickets or face disciplinary action.

    "The types of tickets officers have been told to write are for things like double parking that bring in money," he said. "They've been told to focus less on things like bad brake lights or other safety violations because they can be fixed without a fine being paid."

    The association launched a print and radio ad campaign urging New Yorkers to blame City Hall and not the police.

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg admitted Wednesday that more traffic agents have been hired to give out parking tickets and argued there would always be a few silly summonses rendered in a city that hands out roughly 7 million tickets a year.

    "I think it's time to get on with it," he said at a news conference. "The fact of the matter is the police are doing a great job at keeping the quality of life in this city where we want it."

    Revenue from tickets "is helping us keep more police on the streets, more firefighters out there to fight fires, more teachers in the classroom," the mayor said.

    He said the city doesn't have quotas, but performance measurements are in place.

    New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind isn't buying it. He introduced legislation Wednesday to keep the Police Department from forcing officers to meet a ticket quota.

    "People are getting killed with all these tickets; pretty soon you're going to get a ticket for breathing," the assemblyman said. "Obviously, you have to ticket someone for doing something that's illegal, but it's ridiculous to ticket people for things put on the books 30 to 40 years ago that have never been enforced before."

    With a city code that's thousands of pages long, Hikind said, there's no end to what people might be ticketed for. It is, for example, illegal for New Yorkers to participate in an auction at night.

    The ticket spree became the talk of the town earlier this month when the Daily News splashed a photo on its front page of Jesse Taveras, who received a citation for sitting on a milk crate on the sidewalk outside the hair-braiding salon where he works.

    The 19-year-old has a June 25 court date on the offense of unauthorized use of a milk crate, which carries a fine of up to $161. Similar reports surfaced quickly.

    Someone was fined $50 for taking up two seats on a train; another scofflaw was fined $50 for feeding pigeons in the park.

    Many New Yorkers already are grumpy over a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants. Plus they've had to face cuts in city services, property tax increases of 18.5 percent, and a hike in transit fares from $1.50 to $2.

    If that weren't enough, many of the fines attached to various citations are increasing as well. Starting Sunday, for example, the fine for scavenging garbage will double from $50 to $100.

    Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.
    -Mark Twain

  • #2
    "...but it's ridiculous to ticket people for things put on the books 30 to 40 years ago that have never been enforced before."

    And a good attorney might be able to argue that the police department and its officers are maliciously prosecuting. [Eek!]
    "Americans don't want a mentally unstable president; he might start a war or something." - Bill Maher


    • #3
      Anyone else see the connection between liberal governments and the need to raise money through extraordinary means?
      On the wings of a dove
      Let's roll for justice
      Let's roll for truth
      Let's not let our children grow up
      Fearful in their youth -- Neil Young


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