NYPD Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association Defeats Name Change Motion

The NYPD Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association has defeated a motion to change its name to the Police Benevolent Association. The modernization of the association’s name would have accurately reflected the composition of its members, which include over 3,000 women. Many felt the change was not only long overdue, considering women have been in the NYPD since the 19th century, but was certain to be passed in special consideration of the death of Officer Moira Smith on September 11th. Although receiving a majority of votes, the motion needed a two-thirds majority for passage. For many women of the NYPD, the vote sadly makes clear they are not accepted by all of their male colleagues. Others have argued that the defeat was not surprising considering the NYPD’s history, one in which women weren’t allowed to take promotional exams until the 1960’s and weren’t allowed to go on patrol until the 1970’s. The current status of women certainly reflects that history, with no women board members in the police union, and no women appointed to top positions by the new commissioner. A high-ranking female NYPD officer, who asked that her name not be used, commented, “It bothers me because it isn’t representative. Times have changed, but they are not willing to change their name.”


Newsday, 06/03/02

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