New York Daily News

February 7, 2006

Release of cop records sought

By Helen Peterson

The police union filed a lawsuit yesterday on behalf of 35 cops who charge the NYPD is blocking their chance to leave for higher-paying jobs by refusing to release their personnel records.

Lawyers for the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association asked a judge to order the city to turn over the records to the Port Authority Police Department, so investigators there can determine whether to hire the cops.

The cops could earn 30% more working for the Port Authority, which pays officers $94,000 after five years on the job, the PBA says in court papers.

"[The city's] withholding of these files is derailing [the officers'] careers despite their clean records as police officers," the lawsuit alleges.

The suit contends that in the past the NYPD regularly turned personnel records over to other law enforcement agencies considering hiring New York's Finest. It also claims that some of the cops hoping to make the change are nearing 35, the hiring cutoff for PA cops.

PBA lawyers said 150 NYPD officers currently have applications pending before the Port Authority.

City lawyer Cindy Switzer, in an emergency hearing before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam, said the NYPD changed its policy in 2003.

"These files are the property of the Police Department. They are not the property of the individual police officers," she added.