Ungrateful Liberal Scum, “We Do Not Summons Our Own.”

uncivil_car.jpeg

A certain sense of entitlement emerges in the UncivilServants comments section. Posted verbatim, no spelling check:

I have no intensions of ever parking legally whenever I am in NYC. It is a perk that has been in standard practice since the end of time. It is not the officer’s fault that the NYPD does not supply enough legal parking for its workers. Where are the garages? This is the main reason police officers are given the NYPD parking plaques in the 1st place. I put my life on the line for the ungreatful liberal scum of this city and this is how they repay us. Screw you and you whining. I put up with this for over 20 yrs and now I am owed a certain perk. Yes, I am retired 2 yrs and yes I have a current parking plaque. I answer to no one now that I am retired and thanks to the brotherhood of blue I am assured that I can park anywhere I want with impunity. Every cop in the city is on the same page. We do not summons our own. Take as many pictures of my auto as you like because I answer to no one. God bless retirement and godbless the NYPD!

Comment by Anonymous commenter on Thu, Mar 22 2007 12:10 PM

  • Damian

    Wow. This guy’s rant is the best piece of pro-enforcement publicity I’ve seen yet.

  • wirc

    Hey, another point the libertarians will agree with the greens on!

  • Disgruntled police commenters’ have been consistent in branding UncivilServant’s mission “liberal,” but there is nothing about it that is liberal or conservative, just a general “no one is above the law”-ness. I guess it goes without saying that law enforcement will be more conservative politically than the population it represents (except on gun control) but the opinions they’re representing aren’t so much conservative as totalitarian (and scary!).

    “God bless retirement”? For real? Their abuse of “God” rhetoric will render it useless in the end.

  • Nona

    Who asked this person to become a cop? Was he forced? I don’t want all the cops to be total butt-heads. Pay them more and keep them within the law.

  • authoritarian

    This is a terrific post and nice dose of honesty from the retired cop. No doubt tons of cops feel this way.

    Who issues placards to retired cops? Does the PBA issue official placards or is there an office within NYPD?

    Lastly, “totalitarian” is a very powerful word, maybe better would be “authoritarian.” For all their rightious fury about god granted parking, the cops are not lining up critics against the wall

  • Nona

    Some of them would if they could.

  • David

    Sure, the cops aren’t lining us up against a wall and shooting civilians but their free parking entitlement most definitely contributes to crushing traffic congestion, sky-high childhood asthma rates, climate change and a whole bunch of other urban environmental problems with very real life-and-death consequences.

  • Re: “totalitarian”

    Hey, at least I stayed away from the political f-word. 😉

  • brent

    The dangerous passage, to me, is: “It is not the officer’s fault that the NYPD does not supply enough legal parking for its workers. Where are the garages?” This could be explored under the guise of a creative solution as opposed to mass transit incentives or, here’s one- enforcement officers who live in the communities they protect and can walk to work.

  • Good lord. Look, I suppose I could be convinced by the police that the illegal parking during an emergency or some kind of official police business is absolutely necessary. But a retired policeman who wants to drive into Manhattan to do what–shop? Or have some Chinese food? No, there’s no amount of reasoning that could possibly justify that.

    What makes him more special, than, say, a teacher who educates the youth of NYC? They don’t get any privileges that allow them to break the law, even though they provide a vital service to the city too. Blech. That dude makes me kind of sick.

  • Nona

    For f-word-like tendencies, see recent news about Republican convention-related spying and infiltration activities.

  • ddartley

    I should probably say this every day over at uncivil servants (but I prefer the erudite discussion here…): once again, build all transit entrances and all police shields so that all entrances can be opened by the shield.
    It wouldn’t suddenly inspire all cops to give up their cars, but it would just help in many many ways.

    (same for all first responders shields/IDs.)

    OF COURSE, also double (at least) the disgraceful starting salary, but of course that’s just an applause line that will probably never amount to anything…

  • em

    Nice post. The ex-cop correctly reminds us that “the brotherhood of blue” will never enforce the law against other police officers. Changing that culture within the police department would be a huge challenge. If we are to avoid becoming a society where the police are above the law, perhaps, the city needs a seperate agency empowered to police the brotherhood of blue.

  • Gizler

    I second Brent on this one- a residency requirement would make sense on a lot of levels, and this is one of them. There is no reason to hire people with contempt for the population they serve.

  • tps12

    In general I’m in agreement with Morrissey’s claim that the “uniformed whores…who wish to hurt you work within the law,” but this cop does make a good point: if the right to park anywhere, even not on duty and even after retirement, is a negotiated benefit of a lifetime of police work, it’s not really fair to just take that away from them after the fact with no recompense.

    And yes, his comment is posed in a hostile manner, but the approach of the Uncivil Servants site as conceived is pretty inescapably hostile towards working people who really need to be allies in improving the traffic and parking problems in the city.

    The vast majority of offenders are not doing anything but take advantage of a long-standing perk of the job, one that may partially alleviate the hassle of long commutes from parts of the outer boroughs that may not be well served by public transportation. Demands that they sacrifice their parking rights to improve life for everyone else are understandably met with skepticism, especially when the demands are perceived (rightly or wrongly) as coming from Manhattanites or nearby Brooklyn and Queens residents who can get to work by bike or train in half an hour.

    A better approach would be working with the PBA and other public worker groups to demand that the city provides their employees with commuting solutions that work for everyone involved. There’s nothing wrong with deciding to “take one for the team” and give up some privilege for the greater good: demanding that someone else do so is not fair and not likely to succeed.

  • JK

    “A better approach would be working with the PBA and other public worker groups to demand that the city provides their employees with commuting solutions that work for everyone involved.”

    A nice sentiment, what would this be?

    My two cents is that all placards for the private cars of civil servants should be abolished and replaced with some kind of parking cash-out: instead of a placard, workers get a travel allowance. This would be paid for by higher meter rates, which would also help achieve the goal of 15% curb vacancy. Admittedly, I haven’t done the math, but suspect new meter money would cover it.

    No amount of shaming (which is good anyway because it calls attention to the problem) is going to stop the cops and other govt workers from abusing placards. The abuse it worth too much money and viewed by a very powerful PBA as a fundamental entitlement. Look at the massive pressure it took in Chinatown to remedy a few blocks affecting a few dozen permits. Multiply that by ten thousand.

    Scrap the placards.

  • ddartley

    tps12, I have always had a feeling that the people and organizations behind Uncivil Servants (mostly T.A., I believe?) is kind of picking and escalating the slightly wrong fight (spending time and effort on something much harder to change than other things, and also, albeit fairly, really, really pissing people off whom it would be better to work with rather than against).

    There’s already been pretty extensive discussion on all that here, and I have not followed it too closely, so I may be repeating others’ opinions, but I think they might do better to keep posting picutres, but blurr out all placard numbers and plates. Like, maybe from now on, after already having made thier big splash.

  • JK is right that right now, the current placard system needs to be scrapped. There needs to be a better element of verification that the placard is legal other than it “looks right”. Reimbursement of travel expenses up to a specified limit makes the most sense. With the city’s massive volume, it could negotiate pretty good rates with the parking garages I would think (maybe 20% discount). Using the revenue from increased meter income ($43 million from the Schaller study) and increase meter rates (probably 200-300 million) would easily cover this.

    Plus it would give the city every financial incentive to reduce this cost in the future.

  • jk

    Glenn

    It’s hard to see any placard system that would work — which the later part of your comments suggest. The placard concept is fundamentally flawed. The issue is not fraud, but a sense of entitlement and privilege that is at the core of police and municipal worker car culture. The cops know that restricted, “self-enforcement” zone permits aren’t valid for parking anywhere, but they use them that way.

    The two fundamental political problems with reforming placards are: one the cost of the placards is not monetized or internalized within the city budget. So, it’s an easy subsidy from a budget perspective to provide.

    Two, from the mayor’s perspective, it’s not worth the political cost to crack down on them and antagonize rank and file cops. There is simply no way within the NYC political system that placards will be ever be enforced. Who would do it? So, scrap them completely and jettison the idea of a placard class and everyone else.

  • ddartley,
    not to pick nits, but the site has already blurred out license plates for law enforcement officers, given the constantly stated concern that this is personal information that would endanger their families. Despite the flawed logic behind that (a perp trying to find the license plate of the cop they hate would statistically do a helluva lot better going to the precinct where the cop worked than scanning the 15 or so license plates that were showing on the site), there was no reason to make a fight out of the perceived danger.

    tps12,
    The contract doesn’t guarantee parking–a long tradition of allowing that perk has created inertia that feels like contractual obligation. Looking at the contract, the city is only supposed to supply reasonable parking as is possible, not guarantee a space for everyone that wants to drive to work (and many LE don’t drive to work).

    Finally, T.A. is reaching out to every union whose members routinely use union-issued plaques to park illegally. There is real interest in pursuing the positive solutions to the issue directly with the unions. Similar outreach to every Commanding Officer at every precinct. Already have some very positive examples of C.O.’s cracking down–but more to come on that in a few weeks at http://www.uncivilservants.org

    🙂

  • MARK

    It sounds like he’s the one doing the whinning!

  • this gentleman seems to forget, as do all cops that we pay their salaries and retirements and therefore, we expect them to do their jobs correctly and follow procedure. if i don’t do my job, i get fired. period. end of story. and i don’t whine about it.

    as nina asked, who asked this person to be a cop anyway? folks become cops generally cuz daddy was one, not becaue they actually believe in helping people or something so “liberal.”

    to be honest, i would rather not give knuckleheads like this a gun and a badge. gun + badge + hatred of your constituents = sean bell

  • tps12

    Efficiency Nut, I’m glad to hear about the cooperation with unions. I was not aware or had forgotten that Uncivil Servants was a T.A. project, but that makes sense, as I have always thought T.A. was good with this kind of diplomacy.

    Contractual or not, the parking perk is established in the minds of those who enjoy it. As JK describes, it’s not going to just get taken away without pissing a lot of people off.

  • JF

    Ungrateful? Damn straight I’m ungrateful of any public employee who chooses to work for the city and then calls names and threatens anyone who questions their “perks.” If you’re too good to ride the subway like the rest of us then I don’t trust you to protect me. Go build houses in Massapequa, and we’ll hire our own liberal scum as cops.

  • David

    Several years ago, I was physically assaulted on a bus. If the police were not granted special parking privileges for their private vehicles, a police officer might have been on that bus.

    Come to think of it, I ride the bus often, and I cannot ever recall seeing a police officer as a fellow passenger.

  • Bigger Picture

    On 9/11/01 my father abandoned his car in gridlock so he could get to his firehouse in manhattan and help. He ran until a police van gave him a ride the rest of the way. His placard prevented the car from being impounded by the time I retrieved it for him. (it was moved to the curb) There is a common courtesy given between civil servants like fire fighters and cops. It is a thankless job that is often jading. All privileges can be abused, not all cops are good cops, but less people than you think abuse this you my think. In the FDNY they have a word for people who abuse parking privileges, though it isn’t fit for print.

    And in response to David (9:51pm): Cops and firefighters dress like cops and firefighters once they arrive at their house/precinct, and not at home.

  • Bigger Picture

    Typo correction: “All privileges can be abused, not all cops are good cops, but less people abuse this than you might think.”

  • David

    Wow, 9/11 justifies city government parking abuse — six years later, no less! 9/11 justifies everything. Hallellujah!

  • Bigger Picture

    It was an example. One of fact, and not conjecture. An example in which I was personally involved. But thanks for pointing out how people don’t care about what Firefighters do every day. Next time I’ll make something up.

  • JF

    Bigger Picture, wouldn’t it have been better to impound the car? I’m sure the judge would have thrown out the ticket if your father had presented evidence that he had abandoned his car in order to help the rescue effort.

    Also, thanks for contradicting the claim that first responders need to drive private vehicles so that they can get to the scene in the event of an emergency. A private car didn’t help your father get to the scene, and probably made it worse for other responders.

  • lee

    yea and abandoning the car in gridlock traffic, great move. I’m sure that made it much easier for others to get out of harms way.

  • Bigger Picture

    JF,

    Focusing on 9/11 for the comment is kinda off topic. But I’ll clarify since I opened the door. If the car was impounded in any case regarding an official matter, the ticket would be thrown out. My father was on vacation when the “all hands” was called, and drove straight to the point in which they are supposed to: their firehouse. In this particular case, the car was abandoned in the Bronx on side streets because people were driving north in the southbound lane.

    Courtesy is not privilege. There is a false notion that cops and firefighters do not get tickets. They do get tickets, they do get towed when rules are broken. When rules are bent, they are given some room. In every firehouse that he’s been stationed in they have stressed not using the job as an excuse. There is a bulletin in the kitchen and on my father’s office door stating this. If I’m permitted to make another example, last summer there was a car illegally parked in Queens that had my father’s badge number on it. He was notified, he stated that his car wasn’t in queens and it must be a fake and the car was impounded. The ability to make fake placards shouldn’t be a reason not to have them. Officials should be able to identify their transport.

    And if you are wondering, several Firefighters bike to work in his house including my father. Those that live near each other, carpool. This is not uncommon.

  • Whoa, there. Whatever B.P.’s father did to get the disaster scene faster is fine by me, and I’m sure the possibility of his car being impounded did not enter his calculations in abandoning it. Can we step back from this volatile, irrelevant argument please?

  • Rich Conroy

    The irony here is that the ret. cop, who spent his adult life working on behalf of “law and order” is rationalizing unlimited illegal parking. And it’s the “liberals” he condemning who are on the side of “law and order” here.

  • Here’s one to warm your heart:

    Sheriff’s Lesson About the Law
    By THE NEW YORK TIMES
    Published: April 12, 2007

    OSHKOSH, Wis., April 11 — Dennis Kocken, the sheriff of Brown County, Wis., said Wednesday that he truly believed that no one was above the law — not even the sheriff. He wrote himself a ticket last month after he was involved in an accident in the Village of Howard, outside Green Bay.
    Skip to next paragraph

    Dennis Kocken

    Sheriff Kocken said the accident occurred after he started following a driver who had sped past him. As he moved into the lane behind her car, his attention was briefly drawn to a snowblower near the edge of the road.

    “I was picking up speed,” he said, “and wouldn’t you know it, she slowed down to turn left, and I hit her.” There were no injuries.

    Sheriff Kocken, 52, said he talked to other police chiefs, who said he did not deserve a ticket.

    “I still didn’t feel good about it,” he said. “I couldn’t sleep that night; it was bothering me.”

    He cited himself for making an unsafe lane change, and the fine was $160.80. He paid it on Wednesday, he said.

    And what about the driver of the other car? She got a ticket for not wearing a seat belt.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/12/us/12ticket.html

  • red

    Although you may very well be retired, as a NYPD (ex) officer I would think you would know better than to park on a fire hydrant. Do you believe yourself to be above the rest of New York residents and their safety? And as a RETIRED cop I would think that you would stop your own whining with not having enough placed to park and that the NYPD doesn’t have a parking garage. Take your retired butt home and park in your driveway. If your not fortinate enough for one of those maybe it’s time you lowered yourself to the level of the rest of us New Yorkers and circle around the block until you find a LEGAL place to park. Just because you used to have a badge does not mean you suddenly can place yourself above the law. We thank you for your dedication as a police officer but the worse part of this picture is that you parked on a fire hydrant. Your outburst clearly shows your continued respect and concern for the safety of those you USED to protect.
    Go home pig.

  • sid

    I must tell you I never worry about someone illegally parked at a hydrant. The FDNY knows how to handle this. In a emergency they will just break the Windows of the car and pass the hose through the car.

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