Monday, January 7, 2013
Get-out-of-jail-free cards sold online
From the NY Post:
Buying a “get out of jail free” card is just a mouse click away — and city officials are horrified.
Police union cards that cops hand out to friends and family free of charge are selling on eBay for as much as $100 a pop, even though the resale of the coveted plastic is strictly prohibited by the unions.
The cards are often used to get out of minor jams like speeding tickets or parking violations — flashing one with your driver’s license is a way of suggesting you’re a member of law enforcement or at least related to someone who is.
“It’s a way for a police officer to vouch for another person,” said City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. “That type of recommendation shouldn’t be available to the highest bidder.”
But as a Post reporter discovered, purchasing police union cards — Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Detectives’ Endowment Association, the Lieutenants Benevolent Association and the Sergeants Benevolent Association are all listed — is as easy as logging on to eBay, charging it to a credit card or PayPal and receiving it in the mail.
Councilman Dan Garodnick (D-Manhattan), another committee member, suggested that the cards be done away with altogether to avoid ethical breaches like the Bronx ticket-fixing scandal, which resulted in charges against 16 city cops.
“Our traffic laws should not be enforced with winks and nods,” Garodnick said. “I don’t know which is worse, the existence of a get-out-of-jail-free card or the fact that the cards are being hawked on the Internet.”
Note the difference in reaction by Mr. Public Safety and Mr. Garodnick. Vallone thinks that it's ok that the friends and family members of cops are allowed to slide when they break the law, while Garodnick doesn't think anyone should.
“It’s a way for a police officer to vouch for another person.”
I'm sure the cannibal cop, the rapist cops and the cop who stole and sold other cops' guns had courtesy cards, too...