After more than two decades on the job and on the heels of securing a new contract for NYPD officers, Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch announced that he will not stand for reelection when his current term ends this June.
Lynch made the announcement sent to PBA members on Tuesday. It comes less than a week after the PBA’s announcement of an eight-year agreement with the city providing a 28.25% pay raise and improved working schedules. The agreement is pending ratification.
At 59, Lynch says that the expiration of that agreement in the year 2025 would put the union in the midst of renewed contract discussions when he reaches his mandatory NYPD retirement age of 63 in 2026. He made it clear that such a possibility was one he wanted to avoid.
“This decision is part of a philosophy I have long held: a rider cannot switch horses in the middle of a battle, and the PBA must not change leadership in the middle of a contract fight,” said Lynch in his message.”To remain true to my principles, I must allow the change to begin now.”
In addition, Lynch said he was leaving while “our union is in the strongest position we have seen in years.”
Lynch is the longest-serving PBA president. He’s also the longest-serving leader of any of the city’s municipal labor unions. He has served six terms since being elected to the position all the way back in 1999.
With his Queens accent and firey demeanor, Lynch was a dominant figure around New York City and was well-known for his combative nature. His ire towards former Mayor Bill de Blasio was infamous.
He criticized Mayor de Blasio, saying he did not support officers. In 2014, when two were fatally shot in Brooklyn during de Blasio’s first year in office, Lynch protested his hospital visit by leading other officers in turning their backs on the mayor in a hallway. He said de Blasio had “blood on his hands.” Lynch said he was just looking out for his members.
“I don’t have opinions,” he once notably said. “My members have opinions.”
In terms of his replacement, Lynch recently told delegates he would support the union’s treasurer, Pat Hendry, to succeed him, rather than Corey Grable, a union financial secretary who has announced a run to become the first Black president of the union. Grable said he was disappointed that Mr. Lynch “attempted to put his finger on the scale of the race to replace him on his way out the door.”