NYPD deploying janitors and maintenance workers out on street patrol

Source: Hot Air

You’re likely familiar with some variation of an old saying about throwing everything at a problem but the kitchen sink. In the case of the NYPD in New York City, they’re going to be throwing the people who usually clean the kitchen sinks at the problem of rising crime rates. The New York Post learned this week that the NYPD will be reassigning all of their “plant managers” from their duties at the police precincts to patrolling the subways and the streets and taking care of the bad guys. If you find yourself wondering what a “plant manager” does, you’re not alone. I hadn’t heard of this before, but they are apparently the people who are normally assigned to cleanup duties and the performance of maintenance at the police stations. They will now be replaced with civilian maintenance workers. The change is expected to be permanent.

The NYPD is dispatching its plant managers — who usually spend their days doing upkeep at police precincts — back on the streets as the department battles a staffing shortage and rising crime, The Post has learned.

The change, which goes into effect immediately, is part of the NYPD’s “effort to maximize the number of uniformed members assigned to perform patrol duties,” according to an internal memo reviewed by The Post.

The uniformed members of the force assigned as plant managers in patrol, transit and housing bureaus will now have to potentially mop up bigger messes across the city, while civilian maintenance workers take over their duties, the NYPD said.

I suppose the first question we might ask is why all of these people were doing maintenance duties to begin with. They are members of the force and they presumably must have passed all of the required law enforcement training. I mean, you wouldn’t just take someone whose only training was in waxing floors, hand them a gun and send them out to patrol the subway, right?

If they were already fully qualified to grab a badge and a firearm and hit the streets, what were they doing in those jobs in the middle of a police shortage? The NYPD had been hemorrhaging officers for some time now and they have not been meeting their recruiting goals. If you have one or two of these “plant managers” at every precinct in New York City, that adds up to a lot of officers and they could have been doing this long before now. The Post report indicates that there was at least one plant manager at each of the city’s 77 precincts.

One interview with a former patrol officer and plant manager on background offers a hint as to why the system was set up in this fashion. They described the plant manager positions as “plum jobs” that cops “would kill their mothers for.” Depending on your personality and preferences, I suppose that makes sense. You get the pay and benefits of being a police officer, along with the prestige of the title, but you don’t have to go out on the streets and have maniacs shooting at you.

But that doesn’t sound like a very wise way to manage your budget and spend the taxpayers’ dollars. Cops don’t get rich, but their starting salary is $42,500 and after five years most of them are making $85,000. Since these are “plum jobs,” the plant managers are probably making at least that much. It seems like you could hire a janitor for considerably less.

Provided the union doesn’t kick up too much dust, it seems that the gravy train ride is over. And New York should have more than seventy “new” officers out there hunting down the bad guys. Now if only we could get the District Attorneys to actually lock them up when they catch some.