BREAKING: NYPD disbands 600 plainclothes anti-crime units

The NYPD says it will disband its anticrime unit, reassigning 600 plainclothes officers to other units.

The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York, which represents over 50,000 active and retired New York City Police Officers, tweeted the following response:

Politico reports the NYPD will disband its plainclothes anti-crime units, which have been involved in a number of shootings by police, Commissioner Dermot Shea announced Monday.

The 600 officers in the units at precincts and public housing developments will be reassigned to other jobs, in the latest shakeup to the department amid national and local protests against police brutality.

“This is a seismic shift in the culture of how the NYPD polices this great city. It will be felt immediately,” Shea said Monday.

The plainclothes cops have been involved in a “disproportionate” number of shootings and complaints by civilians against police, he said.

“I would consider this in the realm of closing one of the last chapters of stop, question and frisk,” Shea said. “We can do it with brains. We can do it with guile. We can move away from brute force.”

The NYPD also announced Monday that an officer has been suspended for spraying mace at a handful of bystanders at recent protest in Manhattan. Two other cops have already been suspended for alleged misconduct at the protests, one for shoving a woman to the ground and another for pulling down a protester’s mask to pepper spray him.

“There are other matters that we are actively investigating and we will continue to be transparent as the process continues,” Shea said in a statement.

The officers in the anti-crime unit will be transferred to the neighborhood policing program, the detective bureau and other units.

The Police Benevolent Association condemned the decision to end the unit.

“Anti-Crime’s mission was to protect New Yorkers by proactively preventing crime, especially gun violence. Shooting and murders are both climbing steadily upward, but our city leaders have clearly decided that proactive policing isn’t a priority anymore,” said president Pat Lynch. “They chose this strategy. They will have to reckon with the consequences.”