Email circulated among cops: 2 cars respond to every call
By Jamie Schram, Kirstan Conley and Ben Feuerherd
December 21, 2014
The first assassination of an NYPD officer since the 1988 ambush of Edward Byrne has rattled the rank-and-file — and prompted cops to adopt drastic “wartime” policing tactics not seen since the 1970s.
“At least two units are to respond to EVERY call, no matter the condition or severity, no matter what type of job is pending, or what the opinion of the patrol supervisor happens to be,” an e-mail widely circulated among cops advised Saturday night.
Doubling the number of cops responding to even minor 911 calls would effectively cut in half the NYPD’s patrol strength.
The memo also pointed to potential slowdowns in arrest and ticketing activity: “IN ADDITION: Absolutely NO enforcement action in the form of arrests and or summonses is to be taken unless absolutely necessary and an individual MUST be placed under arrest,” the statement said.
“These are precautions that were taken in the 1970s when police officers were ambushed and executed on a regular basis,” the statement added.
“We have, for the first time in a number of years, become a ‘wartime’ Police Department,” the message concluded. “We will act accordingly. FORWARD MESSAGE IN ITS ENTIRETY TO ANY AND ALL [members of the service.]”
Police brass did not immediately comment on the communication.
“This is just the beginning,” one cop told The Post. “There are people out there who will want to be copycats. The tension out there is the worst I’ve ever seen it.”
Vernon Geberth, a retired homicide lieutenant considered a legend in the NYPD, said the assassination Saturday of Officers Rafael Ramon Wenjian Liu “brought me back to the days of the 1970s when cops were routinely being assassinated.’’ He blamed the rhetoric of Mayor de Blasio for putting cops in danger.
Cops told The Post they are under seige — in the streets and online. One pointed to a tweet that went out only hours after the tragedy: “Kill em all i’m on the way to NY now #shootthepolice 2 more going down tomorrow.”