Police union criticized for encouraging members to take photos of homeless

The Sergeants Benevolent Association is asking New York cops to take pictures of people on the street in their off-duty hours, to be posted to a Flickr account. Critics say it’s shaming.

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A police union is encouraging its New York City members to play peek-a-boo, but it’s not exactly what you might think.

The Sergeants Benevolent Association issued a memo titled, “Peek-A-Boo, We See YouToo!” It laments various pieces of proposed legislation and the fact that little is being done in New York to combat the city’s homelessness epidemic. The solution? Photograph them.

Ed Mullins, the organization’s president, writes:

I am asking each of you, along with your friends, family members and the silent majority of New Yorkers, to get more involved. As you travel about the City of New York, please utilize your smart phones to photograph the homeless lying in our streets, aggressive panhandlers, people urinating in public or engaging in open-air drug activity, and quality of life offenses of every type.

Mullins asks the cops—who aren’t permitted to take these photos while on duty—to send them to an email address for posting to a Flickr account. Predictably, some don’t exactly support the plan:

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