The new force will be deployed mostly in non-enforcement situations — talking to school kids, photo ops, some light crowd control, etc.
"We want people to remember that the police force is there to serve them," said NYPD spokesperson Casey Gannick. "The rabbit officers will reinforce that message."
Critics, however, say this is nothing more than a publicity stunt to distract from a spate of unflattering press.
"It’s a distraction tactic, and an obvious one," said Rutgers public policy professor Simon Danzig. "Adorable, sure, but lacking in substance."