New survey finds morale is low among NYPD officers

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 12: A New York Police Department (NYPD) car sits parked in Times Square on August 12, 2013 in New York City. The controversial policy employed by the NYPD in high crime neighborhoods known as stop and frisk has been given a severe rebuke by a federal judge on Monday. U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin has appointed an independent monitor to oversee changes to the NYPD's stop and frisk tactic's after finding that it intentionally discriminates based on race. Both New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — At first glance the numbers are alarming.

Overwhelmingly it seems the morale among NYPD officers is low, very low. But it’s also important to remember who is behind this first of its kind survey.

"The union is trying to send a message to the administration clearly," said Manuel Gomez, a former NYPD Sergeant and now President of MG Security Services.  Gomez, in an interview Monday, said it’s not unusual for the police union and city officials to go head to head and this time is no different.

The city’s PBA put together this survey, with the help of public opinion and survey research firm McLaughlin and Associates, the union representing city police officers received responses from 6,000 members of the NYPD.  That’s out of a force of more than 24,000.

Among those who answered the survey,  87 percent of officers said the city is now “less safe” in the last two years. 96% believe the relationship between the NYPD and the public has worsened.  The feelings and sentiments of officers, Gomez believes, is a reflection of a conversation occurring not only in New York City but across the country.  It's a sentiment the public is now against law enforcement.

Most alarming, however, is perhaps the number of rank and file who said they would actually leave the department if they got an offer from another law enforcement agency with better pay in the New York City area and beyond.

For a force that prides itself as carrying its tradition on from generation to generation, often within the same family, here’s another concerning find -
86% are “less likely” to recommend a career with the NYPD to their own children and family members.

Commissioner Bill Bratton today said he wasn’t concerned by the survey.  In fact,  adding it was very similar to an internal survey conducted and shared with the public in 2014.

"The officers at that time, majority of them, expressed concern at that time and its one of the reasons we have addressed training since. I think you’re all aware of the increase in training since then," said Bratton.