I once saw on a “Judge Judy” TV court show the judge saying she knew why a defendant was not ticketed for a traffic accident. The defendant had made a phone call to his relative in the police department who, in turn, called the cop on the scene and “persuaded” the latter to not issue a citation.
Now we have proof that this kind of police nepotism/corruption is real and commonplace.
Michael Gartland reports for the New York Post, Jan. 6, 2013, that New York city’s police officers give NYPD union cards to their friends and families free of charge. Flashing one with your driver’s license is a way of suggesting you’re a member of law enforcement or at least related to someone who is.
The union cards are meant to be used to prove that a police officer can vouch for another person, though holders often use them to get out of minor incidents like parking and speeding violations. City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. said, “It’s a way for a police officer to vouch for another person.”
But the NYPD discovered that those union cards are selling on eBay for as much as $100 a pop, although the resale of the coveted plastic is strictly prohibited by the unions. As Vallone put it, “That type of recommendation shouldn’t be available to the highest bidder.”
Purchasing the police union cards — Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), Detectives’ Endowment Association, the Lieutenants Benevolent Association (LBA) and the Sergeants Benevolent Association are all listed — is as easy as logging on to eBay, charging it to a credit card or PayPal and receiving it in the mail.
One eBay seller, “anonymous1234567,” pointed out that some cards — like the 2013 LBA card he sold to The Post for $100 — work better than others because “the union represents superior officers (bosses) and are harder to come by than the standard PBA cards.”
Police union heads and elected officials are calling for a probe and an end to the practice. City Councilman, Eric Ulrich demanded: “We need to do a full investigation. It’s an insult to the people who do work for the NYPD.” For his part, Councilman Vallone vowed he would begin “exploring legal options” to outlaw the sale on eBay.
In other words, what NYPD and Councilmen Vallone and Ulrich are really saying is that only NYPD families and friends can partake of this corruption!
Only one NY councilman, Dan Garodnick (D-Manhattan), recognizes right from wrong, suggesting that the cards be done away with altogether to avoid ethical breaches like the Bronx ticket-fixing scandal, which resulted in charges against 16 city cops. “Our traffic laws should not be enforced with winks and nods,” Garodnick said. “I don’t know which is worse, the existence of a get-out-of-jail-free card or the fact that the cards are being hawked on the Internet.”
Nepotism is not “professionalism”!
[Source of photos: Daily Mail, Jan. 6, 2013]