The NYPD has around 300 cops on the payroll that don’t really, uh, work — and those cops cost taxpayers around $22 million a year. The “rubber-gun squad” is mostly made up of officers, detectives, and supervisors who have in some way violated civil rights, committed domestic-violence offenses, or have killed or assaulted people, but are still being paid their full salaries. The bulk of the 300 have either been cleared of crimes or never charged with anything, but are not allowed back on duty, either. Instead they work at menial administrative tasks, or what the NYPD calls “modified duty.” Modified-duty cops often serve as security-tape reviewers. They’re not allowed to access department computers or interact with the public as officers. And if they see a crime happening, they must call 911, and can’t report to the scene.
Among the heavy hitters on the “rubber-gun squad”: Three officers who fatally shot Sean Bell, and Kenneth Boss. Boss is the patrolman who fired five rounds at Amadou Diallo. He’s been on modified duty for twelve years, and has collected more than $1 million from the department not to work. Said Rae Kohetz, the former commissioner for disciplinary hearings, “It’s like the NYPD Gulag Archipelago.”