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

Cartoon: Bill Roundy

Editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy by editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy.
Editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy by editorial cartoonist Bill Roundy.
Editorial cartoon of 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.

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