NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The head of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association is claiming City Hall's policies are handcuffing NYPD cops and preventing them from doing their jobs.
"Not only are they trying to handcuff us, they're trying to handcuff us to the fence so we're not going to move at all," PBA President Pat Lynch told CBS2's Marcia Kramer in an exclusive interview.
Lynch attacked Mayor Bill de Blasio's moves to eliminate stop, question and frisk, to decriminalize many quality of life offenses, and to take discretion away from cops on how to handle the situations they encounter.
"What they're doing is decriminalizing these laws and making it more difficult for us to do our jobs. Then what happens?" Lynch said. "It emboldens the bad folks who then stand up and say, 'I know my rights, you can't do anything to me.'"
"We've sat down with the city for two years and tried to negotiate a realistic contract for New York City police officers and there has been zero movement on behalf of the City of New York and the Office of the Mayor, they're offering still, at a time of such prosperity, zero percent increases," PBA President Pat Lynch told 1010 WINS. "We're one of the lowest paid in the country at a time when we still have the responsibility for traditional crime, the real threat of terrorism. So we're getting paid less, but we're asking to do more, and also with 7,000 less police officers."
Lynch is threatening to defeat de Blasio as the mayor is facing re-election in 17 months, stating that public safety is slipping.
"We feel the city slipping, our members feel it. When we go out to the communities, they feel it. What we have to do is not rule or manage by press release, but by actions," Lynch said. "And if this mayor can't do it, somebody else will, somebody has to, because the city is more important than all of us."
Lynch is actively seeking challengers.
"We're having those conversations -- those that want to be mayor, those may not be thinking of being mayor but have the skill sets that we believe can help us," Lynch said."
Team de Blasio said bring it on.
"Crime is at record lows, jobs are at record high, and New York City is building affordable housing at a record pace. Those are the results he will be judged on," de Blasio campaign spokesman Dan Levitan said.
On the wage issue, the PBA argues that its members make less than cops who work in surrounding counties, and that nearly 90 percent would leave the NYPD for a better paying job elsewhere.
"New York City police officers are 34 percent behind professional police officers that surround us. That needs to change for us to continue the renaissance of New York City," Lynch told 1010 WINS. "We're at a point where we need City Hall to treat and respect New York City police officers as professionals and pay them as professionals."
A mayor spokesman said the city has tried to negotiate, but the union would rather "wage a political war."
"Since taking office, we have tried again and again to work with the PBA to provide their members with a fair long-term deal with significant raises and benefits– a deal like the ones every other police and uniformed union accepted," the De Blasio administration said in a statement. "The PBA has been unwilling to negotiate, instead choosing to wage a political war and go to arbitration - again."
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