Source: New York Post
NEW YORK -- Instead of hitting the New York streets, cops are being paid to patrol an NYPD locker room.
Police department brass recently assigned an around-the-clock security detail to the locker room of the Ninth Precinct station house in the East Village, where at least four 9mm handguns, an iPad and even bulletproof vests have been stolen since February, sources told the New York Post.
"The city is worried about keeping crime down on the streets, but they can't even control it in their own precincts," one source fumed.
"The precinct has created a semi-permanent post in the locker room where the guns had gone missing. So rather than having cops patrol the streets, they are now patrolling their own locker rooms. It's really absurd," the source added.
Two patrol cops and one sergeant are assigned to "locker-room duty" for every shift at the Ninth Precinct, where they monitor the log book and keep an eye on fellow officers' lockers after the embarrassing thefts.
The nine cops used per day are generally not being paid overtime, but additional overtime could pile up from the move as supervisors juggle manpower, sources said.
The brass also beefed up security for the lockers themselves, adding a second lock to each one after the 10 to 12 thefts were discovered, including the most recent on April 22, when one of the guns was stolen.
Previously, lockers had one combination lock, and many were broken and could be easily opened by just banging on the door, the sources said.
For privacy reasons, there are no surveillance cameras inside the seventh-floor locker room, though one was recently installed monitoring its entrance.
The New York Post first reported late last month that the 9mm semiautomatics had vanished from officers' lockers. One of the guns was recovered in New Jersey, a source said, though no details were available on how.
Internal Affairs investigators were on the case since the first gun theft was reported in February, but the heists continued.
Cops suspect an inside job because the room is inaccessible to anyone walking in off the street.