NYPD’s idea of reform included breath mints and baby oil
By Shawn Cohen, Jamie Schram and Natalie O'Neill
February 20, 2015
Reform czar Michael Julian's odd ideas like breath mints for officers on the verge of cursing, got him reassigned after only two months.
Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered sweeping reforms for the NYPD after the Eric Garner death — but his demands were handled by a goofball police bigwig whose ideas included arming cops with breath mints and spraying protesters with baby oil, sources revealed Thursday.
Michael Julian, who was appointed deputy commissioner of training in November, lasted just two months on the job before his ridiculed proposals got him transferred out, the sources said.
“He would come up with these wacky ideas. We would roll our eyes and move on,” a police source said.
The last straw came in late January — less than a week before Julian was reassigned — when a box of 10,000 individually wrapped breath mints arrived at headquarters.
Julian explained to skeptical cops that officers should pop mints in their mouth when they feel the need to curse, police sources said.
It was a follow-up to his demands when he took the job that officers need to stop using foul language.
He insisted the mints would help them quit cursing the way a smoker kicks the habit — by giving them a few seconds to focus on something else when they feel the urge, according to police sources.
The mints were never handed out, and a week later, he was reassigned as deputy chief of personnel, the sources said.
Another of Julian’s mocked suggestions came the day a grand jury decided not to indict Garner “chokehold” cop Daniel Pantaleo.
Julian suggested that officers spray unruly protesters who link arms with baby oil to help get them apart, the sources said.
At a meeting to discuss how to handle the massive demonstrations, Julian suggested that officers spray unruly protesters who link arms with baby oil to help get them apart, the sources said.
He said the cops could wear rubber gloves so they would still be able to grip the slippery suspects.
Julian — who served under Police Commissioner Bill Bratton during his first stint as top cop in the 1990s — had spent 20 years away from the department before he was hired back as a consultant in September. His initial responsibility was to review use-of-force protocols after the Garner death.
He became deputy commissioner of training when the man in that position, Ben Tucker, was promoted to first deputy commissioner.
A month later, after the Garner grand jury decision, he was at a press conference with Bratton and de Blasio to announce retraining of city cops, including three-day seminars for 22,000 officers.
Julian will still have a hand in that training, despite being bumped from the position, said NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis — who claimed the transfer was “essentially a promotion.”
Davis claimed Julian’s position changed simply because Deputy Commissioner Arnold Wechsler retired on Dec. 31 and Julian had held that position in his last stint with the NYPD.
But a source said Julian only landed on his feet because “He is still a major factor in Bratton’s cabinet. This is Bratton’s guy.”
The deputy commissioner position remains open, and Bratton is eyeing a candidate from LA, police sources said.