The New York Post has revealed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) used a special New York Police Department counter-terrorism plane to fly back and forth between Canada and New York on Thursday.
De Blasio was on vacation in Canada for the week and left for the day to attend and speak at a memorial for NYPD Detective Miosotis Familia, who was killed last year after being shot point-blank in her vehicle. Familia was 48 years old at the time and the mother of three.
The Post used information provided by sources and the flight-tracker website FlightAware to track the NYPD plane, which flew from Long Island to Montreal and back to New York before returning to Montreal. The plane then made a fourth flight in order to return to New York.
De Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips told the Post, “NYPD is transporting him in their plane.”
The relationship between de Blasio and the NYPD has been rocky throughout de Blasio’s four years as NYC mayor. The NYPD has openly protested de Blasio several times — including turning their backs on him at Officer Familia’s funeral last July. It’s possible the relationship may be thawing — perhaps the use of the department’s plane was intended as an olive branch.
De Blasio deserves credit for being willing to interrupt his holiday vacation to speak at a funeral for a slain NYPD officer. However, this does not seem to be an appropriate or efficient use of the plane, nor does it show appropriate concern for optics.
As NYC mayor, de Blasio takes home a salary of more than $250,000 per year. He could have very easily purchased a commercial flight well in advance, rather than use a plane specifically purchased and designated for counterterrorism that was located in New York and, as a result, had to fly four separate and costly legs in order to pick him up in a different country and return him a few hours later.
According to the New York Post, spokespeople for the NYPD and the Mayor’s Office both refused to answer questions about who approved the use of the plane or the total cost of the trip for taxpayers. Refusing to answer these questions is not acceptable. Taxpayers deserve answers.
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent those of any other individual or entity. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @sarahmquinlan.