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4 NYPD Cops Punished for Tossing Ball with Young Boy

September 19, 2011  | 

Even before the NYPD was embroiled in a dustup over dirty dancing, four cops got caught up in a Fourth of July football-throwing fiasco, the Daily News is reporting.

Two of the officers are fighting the discipline raps they received for tossing around a football with a young boy at a Bronx housing project—charging oversensitivity from police brass jeopardizes community relations.

"I don't think throwing a football to a 7-year-old boy is misconduct," said Officer Catherine Guzman, a 17-year veteran of the force. "It was the Fourth of July, it was 96 degrees out, and we were interacting with the community. Everybody was happy," she added.

That is, everybody except Deputy Chief James McNamara, the commanding officer of the Bronx Housing Bureau. He witnessed the football tossing and gave the cops a dressing-down worthy of Vince Lombardi.

Source: NY Daily News.

Comments (27)

Displaying 1 - 27 of 27

Eric Sanders, Esq. @ 9/19/2011 8:49 AM

This is what they are trained to do as police officers. Interact with the community not be a robot!!!

bpd3733 @ 9/19/2011 2:52 PM

I suppose this deputy chief is also out hunting for little kids running lemonade stands.

emerald3358 @ 9/19/2011 2:56 PM

This is ridiculous in light of the recent video last week of NYPD officers mimicking sex acts on the street in uniform during a parade. I can't believe those officers got nothing and these guys are getting disciplined. Craziness.

Janet @ 9/19/2011 2:59 PM

Police should interact with kids & adults in the community to let them know the men & women in blue are their friends. What happened to the days when everyone in the neighborhood knew Officer Brown as their beat cop. That Deputy Chief need to take a course in "Nice Police Officer."

Tom @ 9/19/2011 3:12 PM

If they were playing for a few minutes there should be no discipline especially in light of the dirty dancing incident. If they were at it for
hours then yes they are not getting paid for that. Sometimes the brass doesn't use common sense.

Bonnie @ 9/19/2011 3:17 PM

WOW, you would figure NYC is one of the places that you need community policing the most. Maybe if they had included the Deputy Chief in the game he wouldn't have his feelings hurt and they would have never received that write up.

Kyle @ 9/19/2011 3:31 PM

What is most disappointing is that someone above McNamara has not put the brakes on this yet. Unfortunate and sad to see people punished for trying to do the right thing. That kid will remember those cops for the rest of his life because they played with him. Not to mention, for once he gets to see police in that area that are not dragging someone off to jail...

EHB704 @ 9/19/2011 3:31 PM

DC McNamara, have you taken the time to consider the full ascope of community policing? If you don't think those residents appreciated the direct interaction with the fine men and women of your agency, perhaps you ought to interact with those residents yourself. Or is it too much to get your brass laden ass out of your air-conditioned city car on a 96 degree day? Get out to the street once in a while so you cann see the great work that is being done at the line level to increase the respect and appreciation from the community. A whole ot more is done there than at 1 PP from an air conditioned office. Better yet, just retire and take your pessimistic ass off to Florida!

martyb @ 9/19/2011 3:42 PM

I'm guessing Officers Diaz & Guzman and the other two officers involved can toss a better spiral than Deputy Chief McNamara can and that's why they are in trouble.

What's next... getting three days on the hook for giving directions to a lost tourist?

gpd1185 @ 9/19/2011 3:43 PM

It never ceases to amaze me the higher up someone goes, the more they forget where they came from. That kid will probably remember the time some police officers took to have a positive impact on his life....cold be a future cop because of it. I hope the Assistance Chief gets the same dose of "dressing down" at the disciplinary hearing.....right before they discipline him for conduct unbecoming toward subordinate officers. Read the book 'Don't be an A**hole'.

Gary Brennan @ 9/19/2011 4:43 PM

The Deputy Chief was just mad that no one picked him for the team. What a moron! That sounded like community policing at it's best.

DEADMAN @ 9/19/2011 4:58 PM

He is just upset because the 7 year old ,didn't want to play catch with him,he is ashamed of his dad.

Kelly should dress him down for not getting it right.He probably got his deputy chief job by kissing behind instead of actual police workWe had something similar on my dept,where the chief would let the lesser gold badges screw with the men and wonder why morale was bad.You have to ignore stuff like that,it happens to alot of cops who don't know what police work actually is.

Ron @ 9/19/2011 5:37 PM

I think any officer caught interacting in a good way with youth should be praised NOT disiplined... our society takes away places for youth to play or meet for good things then law enforcement has to interact with authority, the youth feel that cops are just out to get them... This WAS A GREAT THING... WAY TO GO!

RICHARD ISAACS @ 9/19/2011 6:51 PM


Tina @ 9/19/2011 10:42 PM

"The Mission of the New York City Police Department is to enhance the quality of life in our City by working in partnership with the community and in accordance with constitutional rights to enforce the laws, preserve the peace, reduce fear, and provide for a safe environment"

Frank @ 9/20/2011 4:33 AM

Nice going Deputy Chief! This is a good thing. Maybe you should be demoted to beat cop again. Do you know what interact with the community means? Time for a refresher course at the NYPD Academy.

rpb @ 9/20/2011 5:03 AM

What a sad day....It is obvious that Deputy Chief McNamara either never worked the street or was a total ***** when he did. If a street cop can't take a few minutes to interact with the citizens and have some fun with the kids what's the sense of even attempting to serve, protect, and defend.

Quiles @ 9/20/2011 12:41 PM

Unfortunately the were not on the cheif's Golden officer list

bo2234 @ 9/20/2011 1:10 PM

We used to play some pick-up ball on one of the community basketball courts. We also got a sunday softball game together once. The only ones who complained were the drug dealers and their families who were reliant on their dealers' proceeds because we were there so long. Our supervision told them to "pound sand". It was the quietest summer I ever remember working there because of the interactions we made.

Hey McNamara! Wake the hell up!!

johnny Thomason @ 9/20/2011 1:43 PM

Not sure of all of the facts. If they were using their Community Policing skills it sounds like the Deputy Chief needs re-trained.

KJ @ 9/20/2011 6:55 PM

How much money has NYPD accepted under the DoJ's Community-Oriented Policing Grants? I thought the provisions of millions of free money was you needed to establish COPS programs....guess larceny is ok for the NYPD then but not community oriented policing. In South Florida, i gave free Slurpee coupons and coloring books i got from the Postmaster General of the Post Office in my zone....generated more leads through the open window of the cruiser than most of the detectives spending all day knocking on doors!

Mark Tarte @ 9/21/2011 2:13 PM

Dirty dancing or better simulated sexual intercourse with scantily clad dancers ISN'T something to be disciplined for but tossing a ball with a kid is? Someone better see if the brass at NYPD is smoking crack. What f#*ing idiots they be.

commander1 @ 9/22/2011 4:28 AM

In defense of the Chief (not that he needs it) when put in its proper context these housing developments in the bronx are a virtual war zone with shootings an almost daily occurrence. Im assuming from article these officers were on a crime reduction ot posts and as such were there to prevent crime and make arrest when needed. There is a time and a place to play catch and it seems officers were also tossing ball with each other. A high crime location requires officers to take care of business i.e. walk up and down stairwells, make observation arrest, address quality of life issues, not slack off and have a game of catch.

gduffey @ 9/22/2011 12:48 PM

The word is consistency, the question is where is it @ NYPD?

Neke @ 9/27/2011 10:49 AM

This is the result of bureaucrats being promoted to ranking positions based on politics instead of putting real cops in the command role. Pure BS, these officers did nothing wrong.

Neke @ 9/27/2011 10:49 AM

This is the result of bureaucrats being promoted to ranking positions based on politics instead of putting real cops in the command role. Pure BS, these officers did nothing wrong.

Neke @ 9/27/2011 10:50 AM

This is the result of bureaucrats being promoted to ranking positions based on politics instead of putting real cops in the command role. Pure crap, these officers did nothing wrong.

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