Cops at the 79th Precinct are nearing a standoff with brass over quotas
Tensions over tickets have reached a boiling point at a Brooklyn precinct where officers are considering a day-long summons boycott.
"We've talked about it," said one police source familiar with the possible slowdown in the 79th Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant. "Nobody feels this is right, asking us to write summonses just to meet a quota."
A second source said that about six weeks ago, some officers did not write summonses for one shift to protest shift changes targeted at low-performing cops.
The changes were later scuttled.
Cops at the precinct, like those in other commands, insist their supervisors impose quotas, which are illegal, to churn out revenue for the city and impress higher-ups. The bosses have a different perspective.
Sources said supervisors have grown frustrated that too many cops ignore quality-of-life problems - such as public boozing - that could be quashed with so-called "C" summonses.
A longtime flashpoint, quotas have come into the spotlight recently as officers in at least three precincts have griped publicly about having to meet quotas or be punished.
In the 79th Precinct, the number of C summonses issued this year compared to the same period last year has dropped 22.5%, to 15,906 from 20,521. Parking tickets are down 11%, while moving violations are up 3%.
Two recent internal papers from the precinct obtained by the Daily News illustrate the clash between cops and brass.
Deputy Inspector Peter Bartoszek, the precinct's commanding officer, recently complained in a note to a sergeant about three cops on the midnight shift.
"In 4 months, and after 70 tours on patrol, P.O. Denis has not written any C summons?" Bartoszek wrote about one of the officers. "How is that possible?"
Bartoszek ends by writing he'll "stop here before my blood pressure gets raised higher than it already is."
Officer Jeanmarc Denis said he was well aware of the note. "I guess he's feeling the pressure from Compstat," he said. "He feels the pressure and it goes down" to the officers.
Denis would not comment on the number of summons he has written. Bartoszek didn't respond to requests for comment. The NYPD has denied using quotas and said Bartoszek was doing his job.
"With virtually no arrests or criminal summonses from three officers in a busy precinct for over four months, it's no wonder the sergeant received a note and the [commanding officer] has to keep his blood pressure down," said NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne.
The second document is a mocked-up monthly performance report that Lt. Maureen Donohue gave officers on the day shift, sources said.
Cops saw it as a push to meet a monthly quota, including 11 arrests, four for felonies, plus 22 tickets for parking, 26 for moving violations and 2 C summonses.
"We've been doing activity reports for years, and now she decides she needs to describe it to us," the first source said. "She tells us, 'This is how you fill it out and this is how it should look at the end of the month.' She spoke very carefully because of everything that's being written about quotas, but it was so obvious she was trying to get us to get more numbers."
A second source said officers believed the lieutenant was "suggesting" certain numbers be met.
Donohue did not respond to a request for comment.
Browne said the report was used "as a guide so that officers know how to properly complete the reports."