Nineteen NYPD officers face departmental charges after city investigators uncovered dozens of instances where crimes were misreported at a Bronx precinct, authorities say.
The officers -- a lieutenant, eight sergeants, nine police officers and one detective, all of whom worked at the 40th Precinct -- face administrative charges of misreporting during a four-month period in 2014.
During an audit of the precinct, which included a review of radio call response activity, as well as the inspection of 1,558 complaint reports, the Quality Assurance Division audit team noted 55 such instances. The majority of these reports were in the five general offense categories of low-level crimes including petit larceny; lost property; misdemeanor assault; criminal mischief and criminal trespass.
Authorities said all 55 complaints reports are being corrected to reflect the proper offense categories.
The commanding officer of the 40th precinct has been transferred based on the findings of the audit, and the officers accused face possible dismissal from the department if they are found guilty.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton called the disciplinary charges "strict but fair.
"The purposeful misrepresentation of crime data is rare but nevertheless unacceptable, and it will be dealt with accordingly," Bratton said in a statement. "Commanders are held strictly accountable for the integrity of crime complaint reporting within their commands."
"I will not tolerate any misconduct that might undermine public confidence in the hard work of the thousands of officers who have made this the safest large city in America,” Bratton added.
Mayor de Blasio's administratoin commended the NYPD's "swift action" in disciplining the officers.
"The only way to keep our city safe is to ensure police officers are accurately reporting criminal incidents," a spokeswoman said, adding de Blasio had "full confidence" in the reporting and auditing structures currently in place within the department.
Allegations of downgrading crime plagued the previous administration with suggestions that crime rates were low in part because officers were claiming higher-level crimes like rape were being labeled as assaults to make precincts seem safer.