Earlier today, CBS New York revealed Bill de Blasio’s security detail apparently broke numerous traffic laws while driving the mayor between events–just days after Mr. de Blasio held a prominent public safety event on reducing speed limits.
Reached for comment, both the mayor’s office and the NYPD defended the conduct without addressing the particulars of the CBS allegations, which included running stop signs and going up to 15 miles per hours over the speed limit.
“We believe public safety is everyone’s responsibility. We also recognize NYPD’s training and protocols, and refer questions related to security and transportation to them. With that in mind, Mayor de Blasio is firmly committed to the traffic safety policies outlined this week,” Mr. de Blasio’s press secretary, Phil Walzak, said in a statement.
In a statement of their own, the NYPD said security details may sometimes employ “techniques such as maintaining speed with the general flow of traffic” and “tactics to safely keep two or more police vehicles together in formation when crossing intersections.”
“The security and transportation for the Mayor are provided by the New York City Police Department. Police Department personnel assigned to the Mayor’s Security Detail receive specialized training in driving based on maintaining security as well as safety,” read the statement. “At certain times, under certain conditions, this training may include the use of techniques such as maintaining speed with the general flow of traffic, and may sometimes include tactics to safely keep two or more police vehicles together in formation when crossing intersections.”
“The handling of police vehicles transporting any protectee is determined solely by police personnel based on their specialized training in executive protection and professional judgment,” the NYPD added.