Are the police perfect? NO
Have the police made mistakes? YES
Will mistakes continue to happen? They SURE WILL!
Was #myNYPD a mistake? ABSOLUTELY NOT. In fact I love it and I know many others love it as well. I applaud the NYPD for doing this. For reaching out and saying let send us a pic. There is no doubt in my mind that the leadership that put together the idea and launched it across Twitter yesterday had to have known what has happened was a certain possibility. Did they expect 24 hours later it would have become a global hashtag? Probably not.
The NYPD has shown courage in doing this. They are smart and resourceful. They have done something very few agencies do. Actually want to hear from their communities and come hell or high water, they are taking it all in.
Looking at many of the images from the #myNYPD stream I can’t help but wonder how many of these pictures are from individuals in the pictures or have they just been Googled and posted for the controversial impact? Next thing of note…the number of anonymous people and people who look like Guy Fawkes. More credibility just oozing out of the opposition to the NYPD. Lets not forget how I feel about them.
Between some of the nasty pictures….perhaps now is also a good time to mention that a picture is a snapshot in time. It show neither context or situation. A person being carried by the police bleeding can be:
- Under arrest
- Being removed from a dangerous situation for their protection
- Being extricated from a violent crowd
- The victim of a beating not by police
- A police officer
Unless there is context there is no way of knowing. Even if it is a person under arrest and they are bleeding I still say, “I need to know more.” As should anyone with even one tenth of an active brain because no one knows from a picture what led to the bleeding.
If every picture that was posted were of beatings and bad activity, then the NYPD would be no more because human rights law suits and constitutional law suits would have been so many and so one-sided that there just would be no more NYPD at all.
This is by no means a fail for the NYPD. In fact, this can be a big win for them. They have something that few departments have. A baseline measurement for public satisfaction and sentiment (albeit, not scientific nor accurate). They can build on it and do it again next month, and the month after that and the month after that.
#myNYPD has also decided to move into the global realm. Funny enough, pictures have shown up on other #my____ sites from the New York site. Even more credibility. It looks kind of desperate doesn’t it?
I love what the commissioner of the NYPD said, “I kind of like the attention.” Bill Bratton went on to say, “Often times police activities are lawful, but look awful.” That is a great statement that it seems few police leaders are actually willing to say anymore. Policing is not always pretty. In fact it can get down right dirty when you’re fighting for your life. People don’t call 9-1-1 when life is great. It’s when bad things are happening and they need the good guys to come in and help.
Way to go NYPD…can’t wait to see it next month. And the month after and the month after. Don’t pull back, don’t hide. Come out stronger and more aggressive. The world needs to know what the good side of policing is like. I wish we could have talked beforehand, this could have gone better.
Here is #MyPD
If you are a police agency thinking of doing this you will definitely want to avoid the mistake NYPD made with this campaign…more on that another time.