Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In

A Round and a Roundy: So What Do Cops Do All Day?

3:58 PM EDT on July 6, 2020

Cartoon: Bill Roundy

Editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy by editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy.
Editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy by editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy.

Lost in the debate over police misconduct and brutality, which has been central to the #DefundThePolice movement, is a more subtle question about what police officers do all day. Legitimate questions about whether the city even needs 36,000 uniformed cops, not to mention the 15,000 or so civilians who work in tandem with those officers, are simply set aside by the political establishment of this town.

We do know cops spend a lot of time in their cars — the NYPD burns about $20 million in gasoline every year, according to the city budget documents. And the department purchases roughly 1,000 new vehicles every year.

The vast majority of New Yorkers only encounter NYPD officers as they see them driving by in a squad car. To the NYPD, it appears that the formula is "driving around = policing."

Our editorial cartoonist, Bill Roundy, disagrees. Longing for true community policing, which means police officers walking a beat, he's crafted this week's cartoon to poke fun at the notion of a car-based security force (one that collects about $700 million in overtime every year).

All of Bill Roundy's cartoons are archived here.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Tuesday’s Headlines: Don’t Look Up Edition

It's hard to believe that it's going to rain again today, plus other more important news.

September 26, 2023

Another Flip-Flop: City Hall Allegedly Pauses Almost-Done Underhill Ave. Bike Boulevard

City Hall is intervening in yet another street redesign project, and supporters fear it could be the start of dismantling other improvements.

September 26, 2023

Analysis: Everyone Agrees — Less Parking Means More Housing

Let's take a second-day look at Mayor Adams's "City of Yes" zoning proposal to do away with mandatory parking in new developments.

September 25, 2023

What is the Life of a Dead Pedestrian Worth?

A cop laughed that a normal person is only worth $11,000 — and that figure was partly due to his racism, but also how little we value the lives of people on foot.

September 25, 2023

Monday’s Headlines: ‘What is Up With All These Flip-Flops, Mayor?’ Edition

It's the same old story with this mayor and his chief adviser, Ingrid Lewis-Martin. Plus other news.

September 25, 2023
See all posts