The head of the city’s largest police union has won a landslide reelection to a fifth term, beating out a Greenwood Heights cop who was the first to challenge his rule in more than a decade.
Challenger Brian Fusco conceded defeat to incumbent Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch on Friday, but said he was glad his campaign gave a voice to many officers who had previously gone unheard.
“This was a hard-fought race in which the members of the PBA were able to hear our positions on the critical issues facing police officers,” said Fusco, a 27-year veteran of the 72nd Precinct, which serves Greenwood Heights, Sunset Park, and Windsor Terrace. “The members have spoken, and we respect their decision.”
Fusco’s challenge came on the heels of a heated and highly publicized battle between Lynch and Mayor DeBlasio, who Lynch accused of fostering anti-cop sentiment in the city, which he claimed led to the double murder of two officers in Bedford-Stuyvesant last year.
Fusco was the leader of a slate of candidates calling themselves Strengthen the Shield. The group accused Lynch of being all talk and no action, describing his administration as a “dictatorship” that had failed to secure competitive salaries for officers or protect them from harsh penalties for infractions.
“When Pat gets in front of a mic he’s very well-spoken, he gets very angry, he gets red in the face, everything sounds great, and he rallies the troops behind him,” Fusco said at a press conference announcing his candidacy in January. “Unfortunately when Pat steps away from the microphone, that’s where it ends. He never has a plan, never has a follow-through for everything he says.”