NYPD Officers Say Post-Eric Garner Training ‘Boring’

An exclusive, inside look at the NYPD’s post-Eric Garner policing training by the New York Post has revealed that the cops required to go through the mandatory, three-day training have found it a total “waste of time.” In a unidentified interview with the Post, a high-up police source said that about 80 percent of those who went through the training said they found it boring and not as useful as they’d hoped.

The city has spent a whopping $35 million on the retraining program that has included 4,000 police so far and will train another 16,000 before it is done. The negative response ratio was based on surveys given out to NYPD officers who have already taken the training.

The NYPD training focuses on so-called smart policing and comes in the wake of huge public outcry over the death of Eric Garner, who was manhandled during his arrest in New York City’s Staten Island last summer.

Garner suffered from a number of health issues, including asthma. That, in combination with the physical force used to arrest him by a number of NYPD officers, contributed to his death, according to a coroner’s report that was later made public.

The arrest and his death were captured on the cell phones of bystanders and then broadcast around the world on YouTube.

A grand jury later declined to indict the main arresting officer who put Garner in a chokehold, Daniel Pantaleo. The non-indictment sparked days of citywide protests that were largely peaceful but hugely disruptive to life and traffic in the city.

New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, promised in December that the NYPD would be retrained in the wake of public outrage over Garner’s death. The training is meant to largely focus on NYPD interaction with the public and the results that those interactions generate.

“Fundamental questions are being asked, and rightfully so,” said de Blasio in December, according to the New York Times. “The way we go about policing has to change.”

In reality, the training has been somewhat of a joke so far, according to the feedback. Instead of practical, hands-on tactics that many police were hoping for, NYPD officers have been subjected to 8-hour lectures that span days at a time and put some officers into a boredom-induced, coma-like sleep.

Some of the curriculum includes cultural sensitivity, self-reflection, and scrutiny of the role that police officers play in the community. It is largely lacking anything hands-on except for one session that includes a team tactic for taking down a suspect.

“It’s three days, it’s boring and there’s no real tactics. They’re not putting them in scenarios. Cops felt they would get more tactical training in light of the Eric Garner case,” an NYPD source told the Post about the NYPD training.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]