Speakers at the rally said they were upset by a lack of support from City Hall. Jeffrey Weisenfeld, a former aide in both the Pataki and Koch administrations, was particularly critical of Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“Allowing disorder on the streets, damning people in real need of ambulances to be stuck in traffic and practically die, so that hooligans can assault the police? This is the mayor’s job?” Weisenfeld asked the crowd, before calling on the mayor to issue a formal apology.
“Mr. Mayor, it’s not too late,” he continued. “In fact, we’re stuck with you for three years. Apologize, make it right in this city.”
And auxiliary officers and civilian observation patrols have been forced to make changes in light of the recent violence directed at uniformed officers, including the November hatchet attack on officers in Jamaica, the recent shooting in the Bronx, and of course the murders of Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.
During a meeting on January 8, Frank Kotnik, president of the Glendale/104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (COP104), told his members they wold no longer wear clothing that affiliates them with the NYPD.
At the rally, Paul Schottenhamel, a retired former Army soldier who serves on COP104, expressed his disappointment with the decision.
“Not wearing the uniform doesn’t bother me too much, but I’m more concerned that they won’t let us go out,” he said. “We want to go out there and help the Police Department. We love doing that job.”