NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said Wednesday that the breakdown of traditional American family values over the past 50 years is largely to blame for the anti-police hostility seen in New York and across the country, during an interview with the John Gambling radio show.
“There is just less respect for authority. I think some of it’s coming out of the fact that we have so many home environments in our country that are not home environments in the traditional sense, in that there’s no direction at home,” he said on the radio show.
That lack of direction, Bratton goes on to say, has made it harder for cops in the field to do their jobs as they are forced to deal with an increasingly hostile public.
According to the New York Post, The NYPD has had a number of violent encounters with demonstrators in recent years, from the Occupy Wall Street mobs that took over Zuccotti Park to more recent protests over the deaths of black men at the hands of police in Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore and on Staten Island.
Bratton also mentioned the liberalization of society and said “I think my average police officer in the street would tell you that he is encountering more resistance to his or her authority, and that’s inappropriate because it ratchets up what they have to do to get acquiescence to things they are attempting to enforce.”
Bratton says the dysfunction extends to the schools and the streets, and in parts of New York City, poverty and substandard housing are also a big part of the mix.
“You can see in our city where you have high unemployment, high poverty, poor housing, poor schools, you have crime. They all go together,” the top cop said.
The worsening relations between the police and the community have also hammered cops’ morale, he added.
But there’s a way to fix this.
“We are studying this problem. Why are the cops so unhappy? This is a police force that’s very unhappy. There’s no getting around it, and we are trying to deal with some of the things that make them unhappy. They think the community doesn’t support them,” Bratton said.