At some level, it’s not exactly a huge surprise to learn that there are people in New York who can make certain kinds of tickets disappear. Doesn’t everyone know somebody who claims to know somebody who can take care of these annoyances?
It shouldn’t be that way, because it’s not fair–most of the time, anyway. Of course, cops often write their share of bad or unfair tickets, especially when they’re under pressure to meet monthly quotas, which, we are constantly assured, do not exist.
Most tickets, however, are written for good cause. Those on the receiving end should pay up and be done with it, even if they happen to be cops themselves, or the spouse or child of one, or a friend of a friend of one. But it’s clear that the process is not so simple. The NYPD is embroiled in a growing scandal over ticket-fixing in the Bronx, with perhaps as many as 400 officers implicated in the scheme. The department’s internal disciplinary unit is gearing up to adjudicate formal charges on a massive scale.
Part of the problem here involves union politics. It turns out that many of the alleged fixers are union delegates who apparently hold on to their power and influence by taking care of tickets issued to their colleagues and their friends and family members. According to media reports, fixers often change license plate numbers on tickets or simply throw them out during the slow overnight tours.
This is a scam, pure and simple. The NYPD appears to be taking these charges extremely seriously. Hundreds of cops may find themselves out of work before this business is done.
The most egregious offenders deserve whatever punishment they get. But the department must address a larger issue as well: The sense of entitlement that leads to these sorts of problems.
There’s no arguing the simple fact that cops and their families make great sacrifices. Some, of course, make the ultimate sacrifice. Their service to the city is beyond measure.
That said, laws and regulations apply to everybody, even those with a PBA card in their wallets. Cops have to get over the idea that they can manipulate the system on behalf of their colleagues, families and friends. If you get a ticket, pay the fine. Is that so hard to understand?