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Sergeants' Union Advises DNC to Choose Other Venue for Convention

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TWC News: Sergeants' Union Advises DNC to Choose Other Venue for Convention
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The mayor hopes to bring the 2016 Democratic National Convention to Brooklyn, but a major police union is now trying to derail the city's bid. It's the latest clash between police unions and the de Blasio administration. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

The last time the city hosted a political convention in 2004, thousands were arrested.

Before that, in 1992, 1980, and 1976—when the city's crime rate was skyrocketing.

As the de Blasio administration is trying to convince the Democratic National Committee to pick Brooklyn for its 2016 convention, though, one police union is aggressively saying no.

"I don't feel that bringing the Democratic convention to New York is a benefit to the people of New York, and most importantly, to the police officers of New York," said Sergeant Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins.

The sergeant's police union took out a full page ad in two newspapers on Tuesday urging the DNC to pick someplace else.

Arguing the five boroughs are "lurching back to the bad old days," recalling images of squeegee men and high crime.

"By the time the convention gets here will we be in the 80s? We don't know," Mullins said.

The mayor fired back, rejecting the ad as a ploy by the union to get a better contract with the city. The sergeants have been without a contract for three years.

"Do not try to stoke fear in the city we love," the mayor said. "It's fear-mongering to try to benefit their own position in labor talks and that's just not responsible."

In a fortuitous coincidence for de Blasio, he was surrounded by school safety agents on Tuesday, announcing a new labor agreement for them on top of a proposed settlement on pay equity.

It provided a sharp contrast to what the mayor said about the sergeants union.

Another clear example of the fractured relationship between police unions and city hall.

"People who care about this city and it's future should join with us and our effort to win the Democratic National Convention," the mayor said.

"I think it's so obviously opportunistic that no one will give it too much regard," de Blasio said.

"We have a demoralized police department," Mullins said. "We don't feel like we have the backing of the mayor."

The democratic national committee did not have a response to this ad, but they did say they would make a final decision on where to host the 2016 convention sometime later this year or early next year.

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