Common Sense: Policing Stringer

A couple of weeks ago, a big story in the news was New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s police detail requesting a transfer. The back story centered around the comptroller using the detail to chauffeur his wife to and from work and other non-official uses for the detail.

I have one question. Why does the New York City comptroller even have a police detail?  Is his life really in any danger? Are there actually any threats at all on him? Is it reasonable to think that anyone would ever have it out for the city comptroller? Who could even pick him out of a crowd for that matter? Yet the city spends upwards of $1.5 million annually to protect him.

We do the same for Public Advocate James. We provide her with a police detail that costs taxpayers in the neighborhood of $1.5 million annually. Like Stringer, I cannot imagine that there are any serious threats ever on the public advocate. The job itself has little responsibility except to act as an ombudsman with city agencies. That would not lend itself to threats.

The City Council speaker has a police detail. We spend in excess of $1.5 million to protect her. Ironically, sometimes I think the general public are the ones who need to be protected from her. Regardless, are there really such serious threats on her that she requires numerous police officers providing around-the-clock security?

Obviously, if there is a serious threat against a public official, the police must take action.  In my opinion the security should be provided on an ad hoc basis revolving around the need that emerges from the threat.

Automatic security that comes with these jobs just seems to be a waste of taxpayer’s money – lots of money. And the way Scott Stringer has apparently been using or should I say abusing his police detail makes my point.

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Ebola, which has been a plague in Western Africa, taking over 5,000 lives in the most horrible of ways, is a very serious but essentially treatable disease in the United States as the several successes American hospitals have had in treating the few patients.

The differences on every level of treatment and management, although not surprising, are stark. Of course, America needs to make every effort to stop any possible contagion before it arrives on our shores.

We should however take some comfort in knowing that American medical professionals have been able successfully to use new drugs and implement new protocols, together with older ones used in Africa, with great success.

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Former Mayor Bloomberg pulled no punches when he outright called Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero reduction in street speed to 25 miles an hour a waste. Bloomberg indicated that he considered the speed reduction the implementation of a law that made politicians feel good but would do no good because it would cause no change in behavior.

Considering that Bloomberg was real big on changing people’s behavior, I was kind of surprised by his dissing of the new speed limit.

But I must admit very few if any actually knew what the speed limit in the city was prior to the change. It was never posted anywhere and neither is the new speed limit. Drivers tend to move along at what appears to be an acceptable speed for the circumstances on side streets. And police have to the best of my knowledge very rarely enforced speeding on such streets.

A lot will need to change before the average driver changes. But as Bloomberg says, some politicians will feel better knowing they passed another law.




Former Mayor Bloomberg pulled no punches when he outright called Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero reduction in street speed to 25 miles an hour a waste.




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