NEW YORK CITY — Thousands of NYPD officers working off-duty at Yankee Stadium, Rockefeller Center and Citi Field may lose their side jobs Thursday when new contracts for the security service with costly insurance provisions kick in, sources say.
The city is now asking all major league teams, stadium operators, banks and other vendors that hire NYPD officers for security details to assume legal and medical liability if the officer is sued or injured while working for them.
Since the program started nearly two decades ago, the indemnity issue was somehow overlooked until a customer tossed out of a supermarket big-box store recently sued the company and an NYPD off-duty officer.
The legal squabbling prompted the NYPD to insist vendors guarantee the coverage, but some of them are balking. Instead, they are poised to forgo hiring uniformed off-duty officers, at $40 an hour, and turn to private security firms, which historically indemnify their employees.
Sources say the big vendors, including the Yankees, have all but decided to forgo hiring extra officers.
The Paid Detail program, which vets employers and officers, has proven to be a success, overcoming initial concerns about corruption issues, oversight and whether officers forget their departmental responsibilities.
The program also allows easy access for officers to part-time employment, reducing the need to hustle for outside work to supplement their salaries that could lead them to jobs they should likely avoid, as well as possible corruption.
“The venues will adjust and the NYPD will have to work harder monitoring its officers off-duty employment,” said one person involved in the situation. “But the only person really hurt is the officer who counts on the income who has to look to private security firms or off-the-books kind of jobs.”
Patrick Lynch, the police union president, said "New York City police officers should not have to rely on work provided by Paid Detail Unit in order to support their families.
“If New York City police officers were paid the market-rate pay the state requires there would be no need for them to work extra jobs."