There’s a whistleblower in the NYPD. And they claim the department doesn’t actually care about what happens to their cops.
New York City Police Officer Jonathan Oliveras has been working for the city for the last 13 years, joining the force after returning home from his tour of combat in Iraq.
His mental health began to suffer immediately while working in the Big Apple, part of it stemming from what he saw overseas.
“The second tour in 2005, was really rough, saw a lot of things and it kind of stayed with me,” Oliveras said to CBS New York in an interview.
Knowing the stigma behind raising these kinds of concerns to leadership, the veteran cop kept his mouth shut and patrolled Manhattan day in and day out. But as the suicide toll pushed higher and higher throughout 2019, with the department making strides to offer better assistance to struggling officers, he thought it might be the time to tell them about his post-traumatic stress and anxiety.
He was wrong.
Oliveras told CBS that instead of getting the help and support he was searching for by telling them that he was on medication, the department punished him, stripping him of his weapons and placing him on desk duty.
And his coworkers obviously took notice and questioned him about the sudden change.
“I had to tell people why I was out, so it was more embarrassing. I was ashamed,” Oliveras said. “If I would have kept my mouth shut, I would have been on the right path like I was before.”
Now the U.S. Marine and New York City cop is slamming the department for pretending to care. He says the promotion of addressing officer concerns is a sham, and that department leaders only take action to protect themselves.
“It’s a lie, we know it’s smoke and mirrors. They do it to cover themselves.”
What’s worse, it’s been months since he brought the issue to department leaders, and they apparently have no plans to put him back on patrol. Oliveras said that since the meeting, he’s been reassigned five times.
Now Oliveras is done being quiet about the situation. He wants everyone to know that the suicide prevention programs made available to struggling officers are a sham, a check mark in a box.
The officer received a voicemail from another member of law enforcement after going public.
“I give you credit. You speak up because that’s what they’re known for, to backstab. The minute you open your mouth, something is wrong with you or family, they stigmatize you, and that’s what the department is known for,” the voicemail said.
When asked about the situation, NYPD commissioner James O’Neill argued that the department was actually, in fact, trying.
“If he endured that, I am sorry he went through that experience, but if you look at what we’ve done over the last three or four months, we’re trying to move heaven and earth to get people to take services,” O’Neill said.
Oliveras disagrees and says that the department needs to actually do something meaningful, before the statistics rise any further.
Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans? It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice. Check it out today.
The average suicide rate for the NYPD is between four and five officers a year. So far there’s been 10 active duty officers that have taken their lives and a number of others who were no longer working for the force.
“Our persona is to be tough and the only thing we pretty much know is to punish, there has to be a gentle touch when dealing with these situations,” Oliveras said.
Many have argued that the issues that police officers are facing in the city is a direct result of a lack of support from their leader, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. Officers say that his pandering to anti-police activists and refusal to back first responders has led to a culture of fear and violence in the city.
We recently published a letter from a New York City police officer calling out de Blasio for his actions.
“Dear Mayor de Blasio,
I just wanted to take a minute to say, “ENOUGH!”
You can publicly deny the allegations all you want, but I might just have a bad back from moving your daughter’s furniture out of her apartment and I know which gas stations are at which exits between Manhattan and Yale. So, let me tell you what you can do with your denials.
I went to the academy. I learned a lot of things while I was there.
I qualified on my weapon. I learned how to de-escalate volatile situation. I know the penal code.
I have spent time in multiple units, doing several years in traffic, moving to investigations as a detective. I have time with SWAT. I have been undercover. I have been a patrolman and a sergeant. I have been a supervisor.
And in all those roles, I have read and understood the job description. And nowhere does it state that I am responsible for moving your daughter’s furniture or chauffeuring your son back and forth to New Haven, CT, because he didn’t want to take the train.
Yet, here are some of the things that you deny doing.
About driving your son, you said:
“I never ordered anyone to do anything.”
I beg to differ. None of us volunteered to do it.
The drive from downtown New York City up to New Haven, Connecticut doesn’t take more than a few hours, but it’s a frustrating drive – especially considering the hefty amount of traffic running along I-95. But it’s not the mileage that’s the issue — it’s an abuse of power.
Sources close to the you told Daily News that you absolutely ordered us to drive his son back and forth between the city and Yale University during his first years at the school.
In fact, the Department of Investigation is looking into whether the allegations might be true.
“I think that story is just unfair and inaccurate in so many ways,” you continued.
You think that because your son is, well…your son, that he has a greater potential of becoming a target.
“Dante was a protectee of the NYPD … There have been threats against him. There have been threats against my family,” you also said.
I joined the NYPD to serve and protect the citizens and guests of New York City, not to be your personal assistant.
I am done running your errands.
And just so you don’t think I am simply letting you off the hook for making officers ferry your son to his Ivy League classes, I want to remind you of the fact that you had us come in and move your daughter.
Remember last summer when we were instructed to act as a moving company for your daughter, Chiara? Remember how she had been living in an apartment at 4th Street at 56th in Brooklyn for approximately two years? Remember how the time came to relocate, instead of calling a private company, you called NYPD to do the heavy lifting. You used detectives and department vehicles on city time to move your daughter.
Not only were officers put to work, in a gross abuse of city resources, but two unmarked Sprinter vans that belong at City Hall were used to collect her personal possessions and transport them to Gracie Mansion? And do you also recall how your wife and First Lady, Chirlane McCray, personally directed our crew?
Breaking news, Your Honor. We don’t work for Chirlane.
Oh, by the way, she instructed us to leave a number of Chiara’s belongings abandoned on the city sidewalk. Dumping and littering is a chronic problem in this city.
A supervisor once told me that we cannot question you.
“It’s all just part of the job. We just do it out of respect.”
And by the way, that $400 bullet-proof vest you borrowed back on 2016 for the comedy sketch you did with the cast of The Wire, we are still waiting to get that back. That is a vest we could put on a cop working the streets.
You do not care about members of law enforcement. And now, your actions (or lack thereof) are becoming a danger to the police.
Perhaps you missed it when former NYPD police chief Louis Anemone was interviewed by Fox, but he criticized you for your treatment of those who hold the thin blue line. For your benefit, here is what he said:
“He does not have their back. I firmly believe that he does not have their back.”
He also said the recent blatant disrespect for New York officers regarding the water bucket assaults would have never happened under the watch of former mayor Rudy Giuliani. He not only had a pulse on the city, he also had our backs.
“It’s disgraceful,” Anemone continued. “He’s the chief executive of this city of New York, the largest city in this country. He has not taken the lead for security, for public security, and for supporting the police. He’s been behind, way behind.”
Mr. Mayor, your actions and attitude toward this police force have bred contempt and hostility in the streets. You are partly to blame for the water assaults.
Yet, we will do what wey need to do in order to maintain control, regardless of what the public will say afterward.
I wish this was all we had on you; but let me continue.
I want to personally thank you for repeatedly warning your son about the “dangers of police brutality.”
“I have had to have very, very serious talks with my son, Dante, about how to protect himself on the streets of our city and all over our country, including how to deal with the fact that he has to take special caution because there have been too many tragedies between our young men and our police.”
Those were your words Mayor.
Even with your belief that we all have a proclivity for violence aimed at innocent young men of color, you still put him in the car with us for the numerous drives to and from New Haven. That leads me to ask: do you even care what happens to your son?
And let’s not forget, you skipped out on a dedication for fallen heroes so that you could go to the gym and drink your morning coffee.
- READ: FBI LAUNCHES MASSIVE STING, FINDS GROUP OF OFFICERS BEING PAID TO PROTECT CARTEL DRUG TRAFFICKING
Then you he missed Luis Alvarez’s wake, a 9/11 hero, in order to focus on your joke of a Presidential campaign.
Just so you don’t think I am alone in that belief, one of your administrative staffers said,
“It’s a joke. I think that he knows that he can’t win. It’s just a lot of eye-rolling … He’s doing it because he’s got a big ego and needs to prove something, and I don’t think he’s going to quietly go away and become an adjunct professor at Hunter.”
I will continue to serve and protect, because I love this city and I love what I do.
But you, I have no respect for you. But if you need me to do something for you and your family, that is actually within my job description, then I will be there.
A former ‘personal assistant’ to Mayor Bill de Blasio”