Claims Against NYPD Climb

By: Caroline Mason

Claims arising directly from police actions, such as false arrests or imprisonments, shooting of a suspect, excessive force and failure to provide protection have risen 94 percent in the last five years. Claims against the NYPD alone have risen 52 percent in the last five years.

Claims against all other city agencies, such as the Departments of Transportation, Sanitation, Education, Health and Hospitals Corporation have fallen 10 percent in the last five years.

This report also tracked payouts in judgments and settlements of tort claims, which fell to $459 million, a 12 percent decrease. Because of the continuing increase in tort claims, this drop in payouts is most likely not long term. In contrast, payouts from non-tort claims increased from $135.9 million to $250.7 million.

This report comes from the Office of Comptroller, John Liu, who says that something must be done. These growing number of claims cause taxpayers to pay more and leads to frustration and disdain toward the NYPD.

Liu proposes a series of recommendations in his report to keep New York "truly the safest big city." One suggestion for the NYPD is to institute training to avoid claims and figure out who is directly responsible. In order to reduce traffic claims in motor vehicle accidents, he has proposed studying where accidents occur, fixing safety hazards on the road and instituting new traffic controls.

The prime goal of his proposal is to, "work with Corporation Counsel to reduce the overall cost of litigation and settlements while being fair to people who have been harmed."

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