NEW YORK - New York City's police commissioner says officers have purposefully not written tickets or made some low-level arrests in the nearly three weeks since two officers were fatally shot.
Commissioner William Bratton said Friday that no police union gave any official instructions to slow police efforts. There are reports criminal summonses plummeted more than 90 percent in recent weeks.
Bratton told WNYC he's aware of how difficult the past few weeks have been for officers. Late last year, police responded to widespread protests in the city, following a grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner. And on Dec. 20, officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were shot and killed in their patrol car in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
Bratton acknowledged morale among some officers is low.
"I'm very conscious of the impact of all of those (events) on my personnel," Bratton told the station, adding that the department is taking a measured approach as it returns to normal policing.
He also told WNYC, "We're coming out of what was a pretty widespread stoppage of certain types of activity, the discretionary type of activity by and large." He said that despite the slowdown in prosecuting smaller, quality-of-life criminal offenses, major crimes in the city are down overall.
He said he's not concerned that the recent slowdown has affected safety.
One officer was suspended for insubordination during the period but it wasn't directly related to the slowdown.
Tensions continue to run high between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and police unions, who earlier this week denied a work stoppage was occurring, and who have taken issue with the mayor's handling of the Garner case in particular.
Bratton says arrest and summons numbers are increasing and should return to normal in the next week or so.