As bicycle use in Williamsburg is growing faster than any neighborhood in NYC, the police are discovering a new source of filling their ticket quotas. This isn't a new trend, the NYPD have previously stolen bicycles as well. Is this how NYC gets more 'bicycle friendly'?
From Free Williamsburg:
He actually apologized to me for writing the ticket (I didn't even know this was a law), telling me he was just doing his job and that the officers were specifically instructed to target cyclists for several hours. "Everyone in this neighborhood has a bicycle, so we are starting to spend more energy on bicycle infractions. Expect to see more of this in the future and stay off the sidewalks." Read more...
Here's my take. The police need overtime. They get paid almost nothing. Starting salary for NYPD is about what you make folding jeans at the Gap, and the job is dangerous and exhausting. So, they need (really NEED) the overtime. The more time they spend processing arrests, tickets, etc. the greater the chances of overtime.
If the city of New York would pay police officers a living wage, this would help move the police focus from targeting innocent people toward the protecting and serving category. The police should be on OUR side. Let's pay them a living wage, and get them on our side.