The “Enhancing Public Safety While Saving Public Dollars with Auxiliary Private Security Agents” study by the Montreal Economic Institute has noted that NYPD and other urban police departments could save hundreds of millions of dollars by outsourcing “non-core” services to private outfits and have their officers focus almost exclusively on combating and preventing crime.
The study noted that traffic control and minor accidents consume 13% to 19% of an officer’s time. Contracting out 75% of sobriety checkpoints to trained private employees or auxiliary police, with the exception of making arrests, could save millions of dollars, the report said.
“Offloading 75% of traffic management duties to trained private agents has the potential to save an enormous amount of time and money for police departments,” the study said.
“While New York has recently passed a number of reforms, more can and should be done. It’s time to reset the balance between core and non-core policing activities. By doing so, we can make our communities safer, preserve public resources, and increase police officers’ job satisfaction,” said Krystie Wittevrongel, lead researcher of the study.
“More time spent on actual policing would do wonders for public safety, especially considering the NYPD is the largest police department in the country,” she said.
Although there was no immediate comment from the NYPD, the NYC Police Benevolent Association slammed the privatization plan with city PBA president Patrick Lynch saying, “This proposal is nothing more than private security contractors trying to cash in on the ‘Defund the Police’ movement. Arresting a drunken or high driver is a core police duty – you’re depriving one person of their liberty to save others’ lives. That requires training, judgment, and accountability. Do we really want our safety and freedom in the hands of the lowest bidder? Public safety must remain a public good, not a source of profit.”