CPR Needed for the NYPD

Late last week I was telling my friend to not let a single disappointment shake her faith in humanity. Now I have to practice what I preach.

Lately I have been biking to work, which has been fantastic. What a great way to wake up in the morning and get the blood pumping. But some worried, like my mom and the president of Narrowstep, Carolyn. I was on my way out of work at 8pm, when Carolyn asked me where I park the bike. And I told her:

“I park opposite the Police Station on 35th St. If someone has the balls to steal it, he deserves it.”

Well, sure enough, I walked to my bike to find it had been stolen. I talked to the building manager of my office to see if they had video and they chuckled sympathetically.

“It’s actually illegal to park your bike there. We used to cut the locks once as a warning and then confiscate them, until we realized we didn’t have to. Thieves do it for us and steal about 30 or more bikes a year.”

50 ft from a police station!!! I did file a police report (insisting its location was clearly spelled out) and outside I engaged a couple cops who were surprised and laughed. When I told them the building manager estimated 30 thefts a year, they were incredulous and mentioned how they had never seen anything. I thought that was my point. They proceeded to ridicule me, and all I could think about was the irony of the situation.

I was flooded with all the moments of police frustration: the J walking ticket, my friend’s $100 fine for riding his bike on the sidewalk right before he parked it, and an acquaintance who was fined $100 for closing his eyes at the park (it’s illegal to sleep in the park). Not surprisingly these were all at the end of the month, where cops try to fill their fine quotas. That’s not to say it’s not a hard job. But as a cop, I would be enraged by thieves right outside my precinct. Maybe the system incents the wrong behavior.

Well, instead of the NYPD “CPR” mantra of “Courtesy, Professionalism, and Respect,” perhaps they should first focus on “Competence, Potency and Relevance?”

PS Thanks Arthur for the bike, and the short lived excitement of riding in the city. I may get another next spring ...