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“Get Out of Jail” Free Cards for Cops’ Family, Friends Cut

by Christopher Zoukis

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (“PBA”), New York City’s largest police union, cut the number of “get out of jail free” cards given to officers for their friends and family. In years past, cops were allotted 30 cards each, but that number was recently lowered to 20.

The cards generally allow the bearer to get out of minor infractions, such as speeding tickets. According to the New York Post, presenting one lets police officers know that you have some status with an NYPD member. While few outside of police circles have ever heard of such a practice, it has been around for decades. And it’s not without controversy.

“Cop unions are protection rackets,” said Adam Bates, former policy analyst with the CATO Institute’s Project on Criminal Justice.

The move to limit the number of cards given to cops was made by Patrick Lynch, president of the NYPD PBA. According to the Post, the cut was ordered to stop the sale of the cards, which can sell for as much as $200 on eBay.

Members of the force were not happy with the decision to slash the number of cards they can give out. “They are treating active members like s**t, and retired members even worse than s**t,” a recently retired NYPD cop told the Post. “All the cops I spoke to were ... very disappointed they couldn’t hand them out as Christmas gifts.”

Instead of complaining about the reduced number of cards received in the ethically-challenged practice, cops should be grateful for the 20 they’re receiving because that’s still exactly 20 more than they should be getting.  


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