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Bratton 'Not Surprised' PBA Survey Finds Morale Low Among NYPD Officers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says he's not surprised by a police union survey that found morale among NYPD officers has hit rock bottom.

More than 6,000 officers -- nearly half with more than 10 years on the force -- responded to the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association online survey, which was conducted over a three-week period last month.

The level of morale among officers ranked 2.49 on a scale of 1 to 10, the poll found.

Eighty-seven percent of those surveyed said the city has become "less safe" since the de Blasio administration took over at the beginning of 2014, and 55 percent say it is "a lot less safe."

"The results of this survey prove what we've been hearing time and time again from members over the past two years – the job is more difficult than ever, the dangers are greater, and morale is extremely low," PBA President Pat Lynch said in a statement.

CBS2's Hazel Sanchez reports that Mayor Bill de Blasio is not taking the survey to heart.

"I don't put a lot of stock in that survey," de Blasio said. "A lot of what I hear from the PBA is complaints. Not constructive suggestions or an effort to work for the betterment of all."

Members feel working conditions for police officers have become more difficult and dangerous, and conditions are deteriorating, the PBA said. The poll found an overwhelming majority -- 96 percent -- believe the relationship between the NYPD and the public has worsened in recent years, with 70 percent saying it has "greatly worsened." CBS2 reports that 96 percent of officers believe suspects are now likely to resist arrest.

"The understaffing, inadequate training, low pay and lack of support has had a chilling effect on police officers across the city," Lynch said. "Police officers are risking and sometimes sacrificing their lives to protect their communities from real crime and mayhem, and now they live in constant fear of lawsuits, public complaints and are not supported by either the elected officials or the public."

Eighty-nine percent said they'd quit the NYPD if they were offered a higher paying job somewhere else.

Bratton said he's not surprised by the findings, adding the survey echoes one conducted by the NYPD two years ago.

"I've been in the business for 40 years and cops have been complaining about low morale at every place I've ever worked, every police department I'm aware of," Bratton said Monday. "Cops have never been happy about the pay in this city and that's the reality of it."

The commissioner said he is working hard to meet officers' needs.

"Their training, their equipment, their leadership on the tools they get to work with, I'm working very hard and we're working hard to meet those needs," Bratton said.

Bratton said since 2014, the department has hired more officers, added more training and better technology.

"Everything we've been doing these last two years has been focused on responding to the officers' concerns," Bratton said.

The NYPD's turnover rate is no higher than those of other big departments, the commissioner added.

The PBA survey also showed that 89 percent of officers surveyed say they would leave the NYPD for another job with better pay.

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