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A security guard and a police officer chat as workers board up windows at Rockefeller Center in anticipation of unrest related to the presidential election in New York City on Nov. 2020.
A security guard and a police officer chat as workers board up windows at Rockefeller Center in anticipation of unrest related to the presidential election in New York City on Nov. 2020.Photographer: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images
CityLab
Justice

NYC Businesses Hire Off-Duty Police to Blunt Uptick in Violent Crime

Similar programs in places like San Francisco, New Orleans have raised concerns around a lack of fairness, potential for fraud.

Businesses in New York and other big metro areas are beefing up security in response to an uptick in violent crime — by paying the city’s own police force to work at their stores and office buildings.

New York City has long administered its own program for off-duty officers to stand guard outside private businesses — badge, gun and all — and taken a 10% cut of the fees. But after the pandemic hit, spending for the paid detail program shot up to its highest amount in more than a decade.