Did you know that for a measly fee of $37 an hour per officer, you can rent uniformed, on-duty NYC cops as easily as ordering a sandwich? Then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani created the “Paid Detail Unit” in 1998 and Goldman Sachs and the New York Stock Exchange among others have been frequent customers recently. Counterpunch reveals:
The Paid Detail Unit allows the New York Stock Exchange and Wall Street corporations, including those repeatedly charged with crimes, to order up a flank of New York’s finest with the ease of dialing the deli for a pastrami on rye. The corporations pay an average of $37 an hour for a member of the NYPD, with gun, handcuffs and the ability to arrest.
New York City gets a 10 percent administrative fee on top of the $37 per hour paid to the police. The City’s 2011 budget called for $1,184,000 in Paid Detail fees, meaning private corporations were paying wages of $11.8 million to police participating in the Paid Detail Unit. The program has more than doubled in revenue to the city since 2002.
The taxpayer has paid for the training of the rent-a-cop, his uniform and gun, and will pick up the legal tab for lawsuits stemming from the police personnel following illegal instructions from its corporate master. Lawsuits have already sprung up from the program.
When the program was first rolled out, one insightful member of the NYPD posted the following on a forum: “… regarding the officer working for, and being paid by, some of the richest people and organizations in the City, if not the world, enforcing the mandates of the private employer, and in effect, allowing the officer to become the Praetorian Guard of the elite of the City. And now corruption is no longer a problem. Who are they kidding?”
Wall Street firms that are known to have used the Paid Detail include Goldman Sachs, the World Financial Center complex which houses financial firms, and the New York Stock Exchange.
Read the rest at Counterpunch.