The New York Police Department has a $22 million annual payroll of cops who don’t work because they have “killed or assaulted people, violated civil rights, beat up their wives or girlfriends, driven drunk or hurt bystanders,” according to a report by the New York Post. Dubbed the “rubber-gun room,” in reference to the Department of Education’s notorious “rubber room,” in which suspended teachers are paid their full salary to sit and do nothing, the NYPD’s version is made up of police officers who have not been charged with crimes or who have been cleared, but can’t be fired for fear of lawsuits. Cops being paid their full salaries for nothing include three officers who shot Sean Bell and a one who fired at Amadou Diallo.
Via the Post:
The Diallo cop, Kenneth Boss, has been without a gun for 12 years but keeps his annual pay of $104,526, according to public records. Since 1999, he has collected more than $1 million. He and three other cops involved in the 1999 shooting were cleared of criminal and departmental charges, but the others quit or retired.
One former cop and current professor compared the “rubber-gun room” numbers to a “small-city-sized department.”
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has the authority to “modify” the duty of an officer who is working against the NYPD’s “best interests.” The Post reports 1,502 modified assignments since 2007, leaving the officers to “sit in dark, dingy rooms gazing at security monitors in a program called VIPER, or Video Interactive Patrol Enhancement Response.” If they spot any illegal activity, they’re supposed to call 911.