Last Updated on June 24, 2020 by Lawrence Berezin
Are you a troglodyte that rants, rages, and shouts obscenities at the Traffic Enforcement Officers?
C’mon man, stop it! If Traffic Enforcement Officers give you unjust parking tickets, zip it, and fight them.
Excellent article about the role of Traffic Enforcement Officers in the world of NYC parking tickets
This article is a must-read if you live, work, or drive in NYC. It is a thought-provoking story written by two union leaders that represent the over 2800 Traffic Enforcement Officers.
The primary reason for writing this article was to stop the talk about transferring the Warriors from the NYPD back to the DOT.
Here are some takeaways:
- On Thursday, June 11, hundreds of New York City Traffic Enforcement Agents and Supervisors stopped work for eight minutes and 46 seconds to commemorate the tragic murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
- Employed by the NYPD, these members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) were taking part in a nationwide CWA job action to support the massive protests sweeping the country on behalf of racial justice and an end to police violence.
- CWA represents approximately 2,800 agents and 400 supervisors who work in New York City Traffic Enforcement. Over 95% of them are people of color—primarily immigrants from Bangladesh and Africa, and Latinos and African-Americans.
- CWA-represented Agents and Supervisors are only authorized to issue parking tickets and direct traffic in busy intersections. The only moving violations they ever issue occur when drivers “block the box.”
- Somewhat ironically, they do issue tickets to drivers who park illegally in dedicated bike lanes, something that Transportation Alternatives supporters surely appreciate
- The recent Black Lives Matter protests have sparked an enormous grassroots demand for fundamental reform of the police department, a stance supported by the CWA. But moving Traffic Enforcement out of the NYPD is not meaningful reform—it is merely cosmetic budget-shifting in the name of reform. And such a move would utterly ignore the deeply felt concerns of the 3,200, overwhelmingly of-color workers who would be directly affected.
Why should Traffic Enforcement Officers stay with the NYPD?
“The answer is simple: they believe the uniform provides a measure of safety. Directing traffic and writing tickets earns these agents no love or affection from most New Yorkers. When the traffic bureau was part of the Department of Transportation, agents were routinely derided as “Brownies.” Assaults—literally physical attacks in which faces were punched and limbs were broken —peaked in the early ‘90s at around 600 per year, a trend exacerbated by the late-1980s scandal in the Parking Violations Bureau.
The agents fought for years to achieve “uniform status” to gain a measure of respect and security. They deeply believe that if they return to the Department of Transportation, disrespect from the public will increase and the assaults and racial slurs will escalate dramatically.