Yankee Stadium, Goldman Sachs, Macy’s and other big-name city landmarks commonly dole out their own money to hire off-duty NYPD officers as security.
However, when it comes to security in front of Fox News’ home on Sixth Avenue in midtown, the cops are actually working on the taxpayers’ dime, amNewYork has learned.
“If you’re telling me that News Corp. gets some service like that, that really is a question of equity,” said Robert McCrie, a security management professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
At least two — and up to four — of the city’s Finest have been consistently spotted by amNewYork in front of 1211 Avenue of the Americas, which is anchored by Rupert Murdoch’s media company. The officers all said they are on official duty and are posted there because it is a high-profile area.
“I don’t see why they need it,” said New Yorker Michael Nunez, 24, of the Bronx, when told about the taxpayer-funded security.
McCrie said that having officers stationed at certain “fixed posts” can be costly to taxpayers, and the NYPD must determine if such locations are really deserving of regular security.
At those fixed sites, there’s a “six-digit (salary) cost per officer … each year,” McCrie said.
The NYPD did not respond to multiple requests for comment about the arrangement.
A spokesman for News Corp., which owns Fox News and houses other publications inside its midtown offices, declined to comment.
In contrast, at the MSNBC offices in Rockefeller Center just a couple of blocks north, officials there said there are no on-duty cops patrolling the property. Instead, MSNBC said it hires retired police officers, and the building itself, which is owned by Tishman Speyer, has its own private security team. Moonlighting NYPD cops, each of whom reportedly can cost companies up to $40 an hour to hire, have also been used at Rockefeller Center.
Similarly, at another high-profile media company, The New York Times, officials there confirmed that no on-duty officer is posted at their building. Instead, they pay for retired law enforcement officials to patrol.
For some New Yorkers who live and work in midtown, having the extra police presence — even if they are footing the bill — makes them feel safer.
“A lot is going on here, so if (News Corp.) feels they need the protection, I can understand,” said Jesus Abreu, 46, of the Bronx.