Because of deteriorating conditions on Rikers Island Mayor Bill de Blasio will transfer 100 NYPD officers from crimefighting duties and into courts to replace correction officers who are needed in the New York City's main jail.
Correction officers escort inmates to court appearances and guard them before and after the proceedings. Now police will take over many of those duties in courts across the city, the New York Post reports.
“We’ll use overtime as necessary to help ensure that we can get the most done with minimal impact on other work the NYPD is doing,” de Blasio said Tuesday during his daily press briefing.
“Right now cops are being denied days off because the NYPD is too understaffed to meet the needs on our streets,” said Pat Lynch, president of the 24,000-member Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. “This is no time for the mayor to pull additional personnel away to cover for his mismanagement of another agency.”
Violent incidents in city jails spiked from 80 per month last year to 98 this year, 11 inmates have died so far this year.
De Blasio “is the one public employer who failed to meet his obligation to maintain safe staffing levels by refusing to hire more correction officers for nearly three years even as jail violence soared and the inmate population increased by 57 percent alone last year,” Benny Boscio Jr., head of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, said.