New York, NY – A growing number of New York City business owners have joined the city’s program to have off-duty police officers working security at their offices and stores as crime rates soar.
Robberies in New York City are up 20 percent this year and assaults have increased by 42 percent, according to Bloomberg.
The number of murders has also shot up this year.
Kathryn Wylde, president of a business group representing the largest companies in New York City, said the crime surge has had a negative impact on area businesses and their workers, Bloomberg reported.
“They’ve got people quitting over this so they’re really concerned with the uptick,” Wylde said. “Luxury retailers say ‘our products are insured but our people are what we’re worried about.’”
A growing number of businesses have been participating in the city’s New York Police Department Paid Detail Unit program, which was established in 1998, Bloomberg reported.
The program provides off-duty uniformed New York police officers for an hourly rate paid by the business.
Those rates ranged between $45 and $62 in 2016, but current rates are unknown, according to Bloomberg.
The city of New York retains 10 percent of those funds, while the rest is used to pay the officers.
Since the onset of the pandemic, spending for the paid detail program has skyrocketed to its highest level in over a decade, Bloomberg reported.
According to New York City’s Independent Budget Office, the city gained a total of $3.2 million through the program in 2021.
That equated to a 70 percent increase from just four years prior, Bloomberg reported.
Moonlighting officers made roughly $32 million as a result.
Similar programs have been implemented in other large cities across the U.S., according to Bloomberg.