The NYPD is directing officers to give out civil instead of criminal summonses, in most cases, for a series of minor offenses, according to guidelines issued Tuesday, reports the New York Daily News.
The updated patrol guide regulations spell out how officers will overhaul enforcement against quality-of-life offenses under the Criminal Justice Reform Act, which the City Council passed last year.
The rules say civil summonses can be given out for instances of public drinking and urination, littering, spitting, excessive noise and violating park rules — except under limited circumstances.
People who have two or more felony arrests in the last two years, have three or more civil summonses they've failed to answer for in the last eight years, or are on parole or probation will be hit with a criminal summons instead, the rules say.
An officer can also cite a "legitimate law enforcement reason" to give a criminal summons, which must be verified by the officer's supervisor who responds to the scene.
Officers can still ask someone they catch in one of the small-time crimes for ID to check for warrants, and arrest them if they have an open warrant or cannot produce ID.
The new rules take effect immediately.