Ulrich To Cuomo: Enough Already!
Rockaway residents know all too well that an increased police presence to combat a terrorist threat or to provide security is no laughing matter. However, many residents feel that the state troopers deployed to New York City by Governor Andrew Cuomo in January to “enhance security, bolster counter-terrorism efforts and hold toll violators accountable,” are ticketing locals at an outrageous rate.
Councilman Eric Ulrich agrees, and is telling Governor Cuomo that enough is enough.
“I write today to respectfully request that you direct State Police Superintendent George Beach to redeploy the additional state troopers patrolling New York City to other areas of the State,” wrote Ulrich. “I am concerned that the increased presence across the five boroughs is a waste of taxpayer money, and is adversely impacting New Yorkers and our police officers.”
There are residents who say the troopers’ actions are bordering on harassment, and that it all stems from the highly-publicized feud between Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio in the aftermath of the Chelsea bombing in September of 2016.
“I’m all for the boys in any blue, but it’s a little concerning that our elected officials can use a police force to excerpt political will,” local business owner Terence Tubridy wrote on Facebook. “Why worry about Trump when Cuomo is pulling a stunt like this?”
The New York Post reported on Dec. 19, 2016 that “Cuomo was peeved when de Blasio and the NYPD got more credit in the Chelsea bombing case, even though it was state troopers who discovered a third, undetonated bomb on West 27th Street.”
Ulrich says he is as pro-law enforcement as anyone, but he has listened to his constituents’ concerns.
“While I can appreciate your commitment to keep New Yorkers safe, a number of my constituents have contacted my office to protest the enhanced police presence, citing overzealous ticketing for minor traffic violations,” wrote Ulrich. “As reported by CBS, state police confirmed that over the last several years, they have issued an average of 50 tickets per year in New York City. In the first month and a half of this year, they have already handed out 3,000 tickets. At this rate, state troopers are on track to issue 24,000 tickets to city drivers annually – nearly a 50,000 percent increase from the years prior to this pouch. With more than 20 percent of New York living below the poverty line, I am troubled by this staggering figure.”
Ulrich’s concerns are compounded by Cuomo’s plan to send 150 more state police troopers to NYC –doubling the number already here.
De Blasio has downplayed any suggestion that the increased state trooper patrols are part of his feud with the governor. However, he has also gone out of his way to say that the Governor has not communicated with him regarding the state police deployment plan.
Ulrich believes local law enforcement has interpreted the state police expansion as a “power grab” in the Governor’s ongoing feud with Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“It is no secret that I have also been critical of de Blasio, however, I feel strongly that the surge of more state troopers undermines the great work of the NYPD,” Ulrich concluded in his letter. “Crime in New York City is at a historic low – not because of the de Blasio Administration – but because the NYPD has done an extraordinary job keeping our city safe.”