NEW YORK CITY — Outgoing Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly wants to take half a dozen detectives to protect him and his family after he leaves the NYPD, DNAinfo New York has learned.
Citing the fact that he will remain a “high profile target” after he leaves office, Kelly informed insiders at Police Headquarters that he will request the contingent of detectives — each will remain on the city payroll making about $120,000 a year — to shepherd him around town and protect him and his family during their travels, sources told “On the Inside.”
Meanwhile, over at City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided to take virtually his entire contingent of officers with him — about 17.
But that crew — a lieutenant and the rest detectives — will all file for immediate retirement, collect their pensions and head off to work for the billionaire ex-mayor, who will be paying each of them $150,000 a year.
“They’ve hit the NYPD lottery,” a source said.
Kelly made his formal request for the six detectives about a week-and-a-half ago, sources said, informing each of them of his desire to take them with him when he leaves after the New Year, sources say.
The move was a tacit acknowledgement that he won't be asked to remain police commissioner during the de Blasio administration.
He maintains he needs the taxpayer-funded, round-the-clock protection because he has served for 12 years in a post-9/11 New York and made himself the face of fighting crime and terrorism in the Big Apple.
The request requires the approval of his successor, and presumably City Hall, since it involves NYPD resources.
The size of his detail will be reassessed in six months if his request is granted, sources said.
This will be the second time Kelly exited Police Headquarters with NYPD protection.
In 1994, after Kelly served as police commissioner for 18 months under Mayor David Dinkins and was in charge during the 1993 World Trade Center terrorist bombing, he kept one detective to chauffeur and escort him around town.
After four months, the detective was restored to regular police duties.
Only one other police commissioner has ever accepted taxpayer-funded police protection once they left office.
In August 2000, Howard Safir, who was commissioner for four years, took a 12-member contingent to protect him around the clock. He said the security was necessary because of vague threats against him.
After seven months, the detail was pared down to a sergeant and seven detectives. At the time, the size of his detail was sharply criticized by NYPD observers and good government groups.
“Any ex-commissioner who can afford his own security or can have someone else pay for it should not foster the cost on the public,” one former commissioner said.
It is unknown what, if any, job Kelly will persue or accept after leaving public service. He worked at Bear Stearns in 2001 as the head of security, but admits that he preferred public service no matter the pay of the private sector where he woud be subject to the demands of others rather than run an agency where tens of thousands of personnel are at his beck and call.
“Kelly probably needs some security considering possible threats,” another top police official said. “But this seems like a lot.”
Former commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was in his post on 9/11, took no security. After leaving office, he went to work for Giuliani Partners, which funded his protection.
Former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton declined publicly financed security when he departed the NYPD.