Private Companies Put Police Officers on Payroll, Taxpayer Liable for Lawsuits Under Color of Law

Posted on Oct 12, 2011 in Federal Reserve & Bankers, Police, Military, & War

Kevin Hayden –

Source: CounterPunch via Cryptogon

If you’re a Wall Street behemoth, there are endless opportunities to privatize profits and socialize losses beyond collecting trillions of dollars in bailouts from taxpayers. One of the ingenious methods that has remained below the public’s radar was started by the Rudy Giuliani administration in New York City in 1998. It’s called the Paid Detail Unit and it 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.

Hayden’s Note:

Having worked for the New Orleans Police Dept. for 5 years, I had the opportunity to work numerous paid details.  I also saw the insanely corrupt side to “details.”  Many officers would technically be on the clock as a police officer, while also being paid $25-35 per hour for a private detail.  This involved many mid-level officers, all the way to the upper echelon.  Some officers would be on several different paid details at once while on the clock.  This required them to cover for each other, or simply disregard minor calls for service.  While on some details that allowed mobility, they would spend it at a local restaurant with other officers or run personal errands.

As this article points out, the private organizations benefit from having a personal police officer who is rather inclined to follow orders from whoever is paying him, while allowing the taxpayer to foot the bill for any liability issues.  In New Orleans, we did not have a city-operated “Unit” that collected fees from paid details… it was every officer for himself.  If you found some work, and it didn’t really matter what that work was, you were your own boss.  This was one of the “generally accepted forms of corruption” in New Orleans and was (and still is) just a way of life.

The corporations pay an average of $37 an hour (no medical, no pension benefit, no overtime pay) for a member of the NYPD, with gun, handcuffs and the ability to arrest. The officer is indemnified by the taxpayer, not the corporation.

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.

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