NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD has a special unit providing security for stadiums and all kinds of venues, and CBS2 has exclusively learned that the contract with different organizations is changing.
As CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported, that development could mean no extra NYPD officers at your next game or concert.
Fans watching the Mets game at Citi Field said they feel safe knowing that NYPD officers in uniform keep an eye on the stadium.
“I think the NYPD is the best cop program we have around the country,” said Michael Matteo of Staten Island.
NYPD officers who patrol Citi Field and many other venues, including Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden, are part of the NYPD Paid Detail Program. They have a precinct at Citi Field, and they work on their days off for extra cash alongside many private security officers.
“The paid detail was made so that private organizations such as the New York Yankees, etc could have uniformed police — New York City active duty police officers — working security on premises,” said security expert Manny Gomez, a former NYPD officer.
But on Thursday, an old NYPD contract with dozens of different organizations runs out. The new one requires venues to accept legal responsibility for the officers.
Sources told CBS2 many of the organizations will not accept that responsibility, because it is too costly. That means you may not be seeing NYPD officers next time you go to an event.
“So any liability, workers’ compensation, disability, etc, goes and gets passed on to the organization that hires the Paid Detail officers,” Gomez said.
The NYPD released a short statement saying, “The NYPD paid detail program remains in effect,” adding, “This was done in order to more clearly address issues of legal representation.”
“That sounds almost absurd,” said Mets fan Norberto Rivera. “You need cops here, anywhere – anywhere where there’s large groups of people.”
Gomez said the presence of the NYPD has many benefits.
“The NYPD is the best trained; they have their uniforms on; they have radios that they could call for assistance if necessary,” Gomez said.
CBS2 was unable to get comment from the Mets. Other venue operators, including the Yankees, would not talk about the contract.
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch would not comment on the contract, but said if police officers were paid a market rate of pay, they would not have to rely on extra work with the detail.