If you live in New York — and even if you don’t — chances are you haven’t been able to escape the latest fight between the mayor and the police department. This one is not particularly unusual as every recent city mayor has been involved in some sort of skirmish with one or more of the unions representing the NYPD.
Patrick J. Lynch, president of The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, recently accused Mayor Bill de Blasio of facilitating the murder of two police officers by offering comments about the department’s well-documented history of problems serving area minority communities. A Quinnipac University poll released yesterday revealed that statement — as well as the department’s decision to do significantly less work on the ground for approximately two weeks — to be a big failure in terms of public perception.
The public, across all demographic groups, disapproves of officers’ protests against the mayor and believes that those who participated in the recent “virtual work stoppage” should be punished.
Lynch succeeded in getting attention, but residents’ reactions have been overwhelmingly negative. One reason may be that members of the public believe that those paid to serve the public should do just that. (For the record, the mayor also receives generally poor marks for his initial handling of the situation.)
The poll also reveals the root of the problem when asking which party bares more of the blame for the ongoing conflict:
“Among white people, 61 percent blame Mr. de Blasio; among black people, only 16 percent do.”
It would seem that no one involved in this skirmish is particularly well-versed in crisis communications.