NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The alleged police practice of “collars for dollars” — officers making arrests at a certain time to trigger overtime for the day – was under examination in Brooklyn federal court Monday.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Smeltz reported, Hector Cordero – a cashier at a mini market in Bushwick, Brooklyn – was arrested four years ago. He was accused of selling crack cocaine two doors down from where he was working.

Those charges were dismissed, and he is now in court — suing the city and claiming that the NYPD officers who arrested him did so they could make overtime.

One of those officers, John Essig, testified in court that he wrote in his memo book as Cordero’s arrest happening at 3:25 p.m. — the exact time Essig’s shift ended — when the arrest actually happened two hours before that.

Essig claims that’s a practice he was taught to do whenever he made an arrest that ended up requiring him to take overtime.

If any of the four officers involved in Cordero’s arrest are found liable, a second and much larger trial will be triggered that would examine the entire Police Department’s use — and potentially abuse – of overtime.


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