De Blasio’s First Move: Shoot-To-Kill Dog Owners Who Fail To Clean Up
New York (AP) – New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has announced that his first move as Mayor on the first of January will be to empower New York City Police and concerned citizens to shoot the owners of dogs that leave excrement on the ground and neglect to clean it up within minutes.
De Blasio called a press conference this morning to publicize his intention and to give New Yorkers notice of the impending policy change. Until now, dog owners and walkers have been subject to fines of up to $500 for the violation, but de Blasio asserted that he has received unending complaints from residents of all five boroughs that canine fecal matter can still regularly be found adorning various parts of the city. He hopes to gain City Council approval as quickly as possible into his mayoral term.
The measure, which he called the Pavement Opening Offensive Program (POOP), calls for each police precinct to form a task force devoted to enforcement of the new penalties. Sidewalk Hygiene Improvement Teams will monitor areas that have received complaints, and deploy squads of snipers to take out offenders. Once notified, the next-of-kin will be required both to identify the deceased and see to the proper disposal of the dog feces.
However, since police resources cannot be expected to cover all parts of the city in real time, as such a program demands, de Blasio will allow private citizens to use their own legally registered firearms to terminate offenders. Although New York State currently bans assault weapons and has tights restrictions on gun ownership and use, the mayor-elect is already petitioning Albany to allow certain exceptions for purposes of POOP, and has argued forcefully that such a program could serve as a model for other cities and municipalities.
“The world expects New York to lead,” said de Blasio to the assembled reporters. “And New York will continue to lead, preferably without fear of stepping in an unpleasant mess while so doing.” He gave cautious praise to the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations before him for enforcing existing measures, but said that there was only so much the authorities could do when the law lacked the teeth necessary to wipe away the phenomenon.
Experts expect a tough battle to get the measure approved in a City Council among the most liberal in the country, but did not rule out some legislative surprises, given New Yorkers’ obsession with quality-of-life issues. Few expect, however, that the bureaucratic and administrative hurdles that the proposal must overcome to become law to give way too easily. De Blasio must operate on both local and State levels to implement all the elements of POOP, and the measure might still run afoul of firearms regulations.
As outgoing Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer put it, “The POOP is really going to his the fan on this one, but Mr. de Blasio will certainly be hitting us with his best shi – shot. I said shot.”