Patrick Lynch, the head of the New York Police Department’s largest union, is under fire from within his own ranks, facing a slew of challengers hoping to oust a leader deemed as out of touch.
“He’s not listening to the membership,” Brian Fusco, a 27-year NYPD veteran said of Mr. Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the New York Daily News reported. “He has an arrogance about him that it’s his way or no way at all.”
Mr. Fusco, 47, a PBA trustee representing officers in south Brooklyn, is running to replace Mr. Lynch, as part of a group calling itself “Strengthen the Shield.”
Mr. Lynch garnered harsh criticisms when he said anti-brutality protesters and Mayor Bill de Blasio had “blood on their hands” following the killings of two NYPD officers ambushed and shot in their patrol car.
NYPD officers have since turned their backs on the mayor — who has been accused of fueling anti-police attitudes — and engaged in what Police Chief Bill Bratton called a work slowdown. Arrests for minor offenses and the number of tickets issued plummeted in the weeks following the police killings, The Huffington Post reported.
Union members confronted Mr. Lynch at a meeting last week, sources told the Daily News. One officer said that what officers really need are new patrol cars and bulletproof vests — not an apology from the mayor.
“The point is he has no plan,” Mr. Fusco said, the Daily News reported. “He does a great show. He grandstands. He’s all bark and no bite. He goes out there and screams and yells. He’ll get the media. He puts on a good show, but at the end of the day it’s the members who are saying, ‘Well, what do we do now?’”
Mr. Lynch’s approval rating has also fallen with New Yorkers. A Quinnipiac University poll released last week found that 18 percent of voters gave Mr. Lynch a positive score while 39 percent rated him negatively.