Episode 234: NYPD Chief Jeffrey Maddrey On Repairing Community Relations
Jared Murphy from city limits, Dot Org and this is Ben Maximum Galvin Gazette. So. The tails now. To our next topic, and that is the city's a public safety situation, ongoing discussion Al very deep one about Sh- policing in its role in society, policing and race, and of course in recent days it concerned about rising levels of violence in the city, an increased number of shootings a lot to talk about when it comes to policing especially the community aspects of it, and so that's why it screened that we're joined now by chief Jeffrey measuring who is a new? Chief of the Community Affairs Bureau. Chief Manager Welcome to Maxim Murphy. You. I'm good. Thanks very much, so you are recently appointed the chief of community affairs after five years as borough commander in Brooklyn North. You've been with the since nineteen ninety-one. Tell us about the command that you are now in charge of obviously, people know clearly affairs there. The cops to wear the shirts look different, but I'm sure the difference is go a little deeper than that US what they mean to you. Well, a community affairs. been about you know cops and community working together. And for me I'm just looking to expand that role to make sure we're really a part of compensated New York. Really with all. The how we could best service them and to make sure that people you know should that? Was Out there being known we want him. On the same level, respect back to the police department and then. For me is about an a gap. Forced the of the. COPS unity. and. You, don't have hopeless. Intern having a little fun to. Save a little bit more chief Maj about what your approach is. GonNa look like to this role. Are there certain things that you plan to change? Are there certain things that you're doing that? You think you know our most essential to coming in fresh into the role and saying you know what there's. There's new leadership here and this is this direction I'm GonNa take this work in a little bit different than the past. Not necessarily you know that that the password was wrong, but how you're gonNA. Do you know yet how you're going to put your? Personal imprint on this role. I think. Approach is really. Approach that should all be taken. It's about. The industry being on the ground. Talking to communities I went up to a basketball game yesterday. I was in that was being held an honorably young young man, who lost his life and I'll community a good young man, and they had to be about four hundred people out there and when I tell you I had numerous conversations out there shook so many hands took so many pitches and. People enjoyed having the conversation with me as I enjoyed having a conversation with them. I think a lot of people support the police department. They WANNA. Have the compensations, but in my role here that the police department we're taking the first steps to build that bridge to have those conversations to have those cordial into action, and even when we have something to ratchet. Up to be done with a levels back in, everyone has to be left with their dignity. Can you. Can you say a little bit more of why those relationships matter? you know. Why why does it matter if? You know there's there's good sort of rapport between cops and young people in different communities and community affairs you know is having a presence or even hosting a basketball game or a barbecue, or whatever it might be what? Why does that actually matter? What does that actually lead to? Do you think I I think it matters because the community has a good relationship with police. They'll. They'll give more support to the police. Even during tough situations, they'll give more support to police especially when. The particular officer. Maybe a neighborhood could. Cheese. I think we lost you there for a second. Maybe. We've lost chief magically here. Bowling maybe we need to get him back on the line. Alone. Right. Now I'm doing my phone. Don't know when we lost you there for a minute, but you're back, so maybe we take back from the top, but. Okay but let me feeling. We heard you for a second say it matters because the community. Will you know? We'll. The police. And that clued. That's exactly what I was. That was my whole Throwing adding about? When police officers out there and we're building good relationships and we're knowing that communities that we served. It's. Helped Garner support for police officers. When our offices out there, and and the communities familiar with them and they had. You know. Pack discussions with the Patch interactions with the positive interactions for the police officers have to take some. You know some level enforcement I'll have to make the tough decision. People may not like. They'll know that good. That's a good officer they. Have, a relationship with WHO's worked in the community in does right by the community, and they had to make the tough decision on the stuff call I've been talking to a lot of people in the community. The last few days and people are asking for for Sir. Dress quality life conditions. People ask not for us to stop the violence that happened out here. What the police need to support it a people as well all right. We're doing job out here. We're doing a dangerous job out here. We need to the community to support US support I actions. We. Are Not talking about what we do, something, excessive or wrong for. We're doing a tough job. We completed making a top arrest or guy pretension. People have to support us when. We're doing it at the behalf to the community, we're taking action to save the laws of the community. We taking actually action. Improve your quality of life. Would have to support in these actions. KIEF based on those conversations and your instincts developed over three, or that goes back to ninety one with eighty. What do you think is driving the increased violence you've seen in the past few weeks. Increased number shootings. To what do you attribute that I mean you see a lot of things on our community? I mean first of all we we. We all suffered to a pandemic in there was final financial distress. There was hunger. There was food deprivation. People were cooped up in the house. There were a lot of things that. I, think manifested itself during the pandemic You know we have some issues at all our. Our our criminal justice, we have been making arrests and also due to Kovic. We're releasing releasing prisoners releasing people arrested for guns and and serious crimes. and. When! We make the arrest and they're getting out. It's hard. I mean when they get out and they're getting out with a little consequences. A lot of times they're not going to say had got out. I'm just going to go straight. They go back right to what they were doing. So, you know we understand this pandemic. We had to save lives and even in the jails. We have to save lives, but the system has to work when we arrest and violent criminals people with. With PASA carrying guns in doing crimes, we arrested. They have to remain in jail. and. Be have heard reports and sound police. Union leaders have attested this that there is a morale problem among police officers. Do you feel that is the case? Is there barral problem in my PD? Is that having an impact on its crime fighting abilities? Of course. There is a morale issue. We have a lot of young police officer in this department young department, and if you listen to the rhetoric stacked in spewed around in the community over and the city last few weeks. I mean there's there's graffiti kill. COPS is a rhetoric of the fund police. You know there's rhetoric that everyone in the police department is bad. Out there. I was working to protest. I've been I. was called every name in the book I was called. Racial, slurs people. You know I, it was. It was a terrible time out there and I have thirty years experience and I have a lot of experience I've been through a lot. What happens when they're doing this? To a twenty four twenty five year old cop, who doesn't have thirty years experienced you. You don't think they'll build disenfranchise. You don't think they'll feel hurt. You don't think they'll feel unsupported. Of course they will, and this is why it's so important for us to have. Good relationship community and I've met so many people over the last few days in this new role I've been charging Brooklyn the last five years before I took this position, and so I, know the Brooklyn Community Wealth, but I've been up in Harlem and the Bronx Queens talking to people and so many people were very supportive of the police, but they have to speak up about it. I'll obviously know that they have support. There's people want him to be successful in keeping their community safe. Is, something that must be done. We can't let go back to the way it was many years ago. What do you think drives that? Against the police leads people to shout, slur is in. Graffiti and and others who would call for harming the cops or saying anything about them personally, but who want to defend it. Where do you think that comes from is is in out of thin air. Do you think it has some rational basis? Now I mean listen we have. You know when you look at his from a historical context especially. In black communities and Latino communities have been fractured relationships with the police in the community You know during the two fifty era. we stopped a lot of people who shouldn't have been stopped, and we created some controversy things that the department works on correct. But I think when you know. The Police Department is a profession. That's broad brushed. Something can happen California and you know we have to answer pork. Another municipality and again we're going to be looked at. Is the same way in the same in the same way. So. We always have to understand that, and sometimes, when the Internet happens at another state another city again if it just brings back some of those old feelings. that we had some of our communities where the relationships have been strained. So when those things happen to suggest double back down double down. Get back into the communities talk to people. participating positive events has difficult compensations that way we can start reestablishing trust. Building Cross where we may have not have had it in the first place. And and continue to work together outlaw city out. How does you know? I think somebody said there is certainly very interesting and you know, but but certainly you know some of the sentiment in New York is not, it might be re sparked by something that happens elsewhere, but it's not only about how long ago things that happened the city. Right Amon we've seen even since George was killed saw officers using an apparent chokehold on someone. In the city here and you know some of the ways that officers were behaving during the protests where there's already been even a few officers disciplined for those things, so it's not just about things happening elsewhere. How do you in this role in community affairs? Have you talked to people about what the NYPD is doing a needs to do to weed out the officers that should not be part of the force well. I mean NYPD has a lot of site. I mean we have the city council? The five district attorney's. We have an internal affairs bureau. Civilian Complaint Review. Board a Federal Monitor, so there's quite a few things that we already had in place that help with the discipline process, but when you look at. no prior to the murder of George Floyd. You know we were we were already having some issues, just addressing the whole cove in nineteen situation, but overall I think we would join all right here. We work off communities. During the cold pandemic. We Fed families. We provided math. We did a lot of things. People will upset with some of enforcement for social distancing. And you heard the police commissioner save time and time again that we maybe shouldn't have been a part of enforcing social distance and physical distance, and but we were taxed with, so we had to do our jobs. But just when you look at the protests. There of course. There were some incidents out there. That didn't that would not good that you know a lot of people in law enforcement, disturbed somebody incident, but I think overall with the amount of protests that we handled amount of people that we have those I did a very professional job out there. There were a few a few. Bad choices that a few mistakes done out there and police commissioners has been. He's been addressing him addressing those. States and bad choices. And, you know There's there's other review and oversight that's going on with the protests, and how we handle things out there but I think by law with the amount of people who are out there. We did it. We did a tremendous job at keeping. People say that people raise their voices. You know we we. We took a lot of use out there. We remain professional for the most part and will continue to do that will continue to do that. There's a lot in your answer there that we could We dissect if we had an extra half hour, so we definitely want to get to a couple of other things abuse, so I'm I think probably my final question is. As, you're taking over here in community affairs, there's also this shift that's been decided on of the school safety. Division and you're going to be. clearly still overseeing school safety at least for this coming school year, and then also helping with. Seemingly, helping with the transition to the Department of Education Do, you think it is the right move to move school safety out of the PD in. How are you thinking about that that process it's. Something that remains to be seen and I mean school safety was under the Board of Education now the Department of Education for years. I think they want it tied accounting processes. They want to increase public safety in schools. They were incidents of. Of of weapons being bought schools. Crimes occurrence schools, and they wanted to tighten up to oversight provide better training and things of that nature when the police. Department took over school safety I was one of the original people will. WHO's a part of that transition? I was a sergeant I was original school saw. For, the seventy seven precent and it was a learning process. It was a learning process. It will procedures that weren't in place. We had to figure out we had to kind of. You know make things as we went along. And then you know retroactively, make it a procedure. Fix It, but I think we came a long way with the way we. Handle schools when you look at the school safety composition of people in school safety. A lot of people are talking about. Big? African American Latino population in the school safety division employees a lot of them. Mature people parents people with a lot of experience dealing with children. So? To say that you know they weren't doing the right Jianghuai. Sit Be the NYPD I. Don't know about that because there were a lot of good people in there, who kid those children who dug in their own pockets feed those children. And did it under under. Under the NYPD, so when he gets back out, I don't think any of those people would change all be great. People are still love to children the same way and do everything they can, and they'll still have the support of the NYPD. There's no way something's going to happen in the school in New York City. In the schools, safety has caused support from the police department it. We're not going to respond. We're just not going to have oversight of the day to day operation, so we'll see how that works out when it's all said and done. She felt before we let you go. When asked question coming back to the rank and file officers who will be under your command your new post and Twenty something years ago, for complicated reasons I went through the first several stages of becoming a New York City cop and was sitting around one day with other potential recruits. People were talking about what they wanted to do. In the department, it was harbor division was ESPN was being detective. no-one mentioned community affairs, and I think the perception. Was that anyway? This was seen as a job that that allow. COPS wouldn't want because of wasn't seen as quote. Unquote real policing is that still the case is this is being community. Fair's coveted post. What kind of cops do seek that out of? What kind of cops should what kind of culture are you trying to create around the idea of being? Fares Officer. Well. First and foremost I think all police. Officers should have so community affairs role within them, and I'm talking about personally about how. How we use professionalism to modified situations in working with communities and sometimes bending over backwards to help them out. I think we need affairs in. You know taking over as people who are committed to their communities, and they don't. They don't have to mess with early live at community. During the minute they assigned to that precent have borough. Community because they're probably going to be spending more on their. Home or anywhere else so it is their community. They're basically going to be all the time. Off In there, they'll be you know using their resources in that community, so it's their community and I'm looking for cops who really come or closely with their community have a vested interest in in the community you. WanNa, be innovative and do some things to help bridge the police community provide. In my role in Brooklyn, we did some incredible things I used to host a yearly D. annual competitions we. We did things where we went into the schools and did A. Room and we dance with. The kids did jeopardy tournament with the kids we'd. Leeann campaigns with the kid kids every Chris the last four years. We've done We call our annual sleigh ride. We give out over ten thousand ten thousand guests, children many many gifts. The children wouldn't get. If, we weren't providing. So I think there's great opportunity to go out there and work in the communities be mentors bring value to the lives of young people to be a resource to parents who may be struggling and need additional help. So. There's a lot of community busy deal Since I've been in quite a few calls for members of this apartment who wanna come and work in his bureau here and get out there and bring value communities so I think we're GonNa do great things. Community Affairs. Well, that's that's interesting that you get those calls and that'll be a trend to watch for us to check back in with you on that's we've been talking with chief Jeffrey manager WHO'S THE NEW NYPD chief of community affairs, and we thank you for the time with us and good luck out there. Thank you. I appreciate your time. Be while all right. Thank you take care. We hope you have a great week in the greatest city in the world. Around.