The shock of yesterday has left me speechless, but I will stand on my soapbox once again and advocate the use of "Paid Detail" police officers at large clubs. Go to a TD Bank and you might see a real police officer standing where everyone can see him. TD Bank was once described as too easy to rob, and they took advantage of the NYPD’s Paid Detail to beef up their security. Simply, a firm pays $37 an hour to the cop and a 10-percent administrative fee to the city and they get a cop dedicated to protecting them. Wall Street has these officers protecting their world as well. In fact, the program paid the city $1,184,000 in 2011, which means private firms shelled out $11,800,000 for armed police officers with ticket books and arresting power. The events in Boston demand a rethinking of a department policy that disallows NYC clubs to participate.
Nightclubs invariably attract hundreds – if not thousands – of revelers. Highly trained and bonded security are there to protect and serve. They mostly toss a few drunks, break up a small skirmish between frat boys, deter pocketbook and cell phone thieves, and help door people keep out troublemakers or the unkempt. They are a thin line, pretty much helpless against serious threat. An armed police officer is necessary to protect these large, nightly gatherings of people. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, usually a bastion for public safety, has nixed the Paid Detail program for premises with liquor licenses. I have been told fear of corruption is the issue, yet he’ll let them work for bankers?
Rotating cops through should easily solve that issue. The bad guys have struck clubs before and will again. The party animals boozing around and being promiscuous are a ripe target for the hateful. As I write this, it is unclear who attacked Boston and our world of wonder, but it is clear that maximum mayhem was intended. Nightclubs are built to withstand most fires and wear and tear, but are ill-equipped against determined assholes. Allowing NY City’s finest to look out for the public in places they choose to gather seems like a good idea for these times.
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