If you got a ticket from a New York State Trooper recently in New York City and thought that traffic tickets from the state are on the rise in this area, then you’d be right: they totally are. By a massive percentage, too.
According to the New York Post, state troopers were once pretty rare on city streets. They didn’t give out any tickets in 2014 and only four in 2015. So far for this year?
From the story:
State Police officers doled out 14,542 summonses to New York City motorists in the first four months of this year — an astonishing 759 percent increase from all of last year, when they scribbled just 1,692, records show.
The paper reports that New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo stationed 150 state police officers to patrol the city’s bridges, tunnels and highways with the goal of building revenue and pissing off New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
And revenue certainly seems to have risen, writes the Post:
The trooper ticket blitz has likely generated more than $3 million in revenue. A typical speeding ticket costs $203 — with $88 in surcharges going to the state and the $115 balance to the city. A cellphone summons costs $288.
Troopers also made 93 arrests so far this year in Gotham — 48 percent more than the 63 cuffed in all of 2016, State Police records show. They made no NYC arrests in 2015.
It’s believed that the rise in state police presence in the city has something to do with the weird drama between Cuomo and de Blasio.
The New York Daily News put it best when it wrote:
New York City mayors and the state’s governors are often at odds, with the mayor trying to exert local prerogatives and the governor holding a higher power over the city’s fate. But the feud between Cuomo and de Blasio has been uniquely personal, bitter and public in the 34 months since de Blasio’s inauguration in 2014, and has been white hot since de Blasio announced, on June 30, 2015, that he was fed up with his old friend Andrew Mark Cuomo.
The issue with the troopers has kind of become a he-said-she-said situation.
Eugene O’Donnell, a John Jay College criminology professor, told the Post, “Putting primarily rural and traffic-oriented. . . troopers into an urban environment should be done with the greatest care and collaboration. It shouldn’t be done to seek political point scoring. This is a Chris Christie-esque thing, using law enforcement to do political machinations.”
Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi told the paper, “Troopers were deployed to provide extra security amid worldwide terror threats that targeted infrastructure and to catch scofflaws when the state moved to congestion-alleviating cashless tolling. Your so-called expert clearly doesn’t know the first thing about state police training.”
Damn, look at those fighting words.
I’m not sure how this rivalry is going to shake out, but for us citizens: it looks like we’ll have to be more careful when driving around the city.