Current and retired New York Police Department (NYPD) officers were “livid” that the department was reducing the number of “get out of jail free” cards made available to them, according to a report in the New York Post.
The cards — on which are printed an NYPD badge and the Police or Sergeant’s Benevolent Association — are distributed to family and friends of NYPD officers. They’re designed to be presented to police to get out of “minor trouble,” like a traffic ticket, by displaying a card that would lend an officer to believe the person presenting the card is a family member or close friend of another NYPD officer.
Unlike the cards in the Monopoly game, there is no explicit promise printed on these cards.
Business Insider reports that the cards — which are designed to literally determine whether someone’s subject to the criminal justice system for an alleged crime — sometimes show up on eBay. And police are fuming at Police Benevolent Association chief Pat Lynch, who’s reduced the number of cards from 30 to 20 for active police, and from 20 to 10 for retired police.
“They are treating active members like s**t, and retired members even worse than s**t,” said one retired NYPD officer. “All the cops I spoke to were… very disappointed they couldn’t hand them out as Christmas gifts.”
Neither the NYPD nor the Police Benevolent Association would comment for the story.
While police are upset, many are asking a more fundamental question: Why have police ever had “get out of jail free” cards in the first place?
Any police interaction ultimately comes down to an officer’s discretion, reports BBC, which adds that the cards “do not entitle its owner to any special rights.” They write that the cards are largely used for infractions like speeding and red light running, not more serious crimes like drunk driving.