It looks like the Town of New Hartford Police Department thinks it is in the private security business. According to the terms of an agreement signed by a police lieutenant and the Marquee Cinemas:
Per the agreement, the Cinemas will reimburse the Town for the overtime, and will pay $20 per night for the car . . .
- A member of the New Hartford Police Department will be assigned to the Marquee Cinemas every, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, during the time frame of 8:00 PM to approximately 12:30 AM.
- A marked police car belonging to the New Hartford Police Department will also be assigned to this location.
- The member of the New Hartford Police Department will be on duty (working over-time) and in uniform, as an employee of the Town of New Hartford.
This agreement appears to have been entirely unauthorized.
The Police Department is part of Town Government, something that we the taxpayers have paid for. That police car is owned by the people of New Hartford, not the police lieutenant. New Hartford Police is NOT a private security business that can enter protection deals at its own will. Only Town Government has the right to commit these resources to particular purposes (and even then there there are legal and constitutional limitations). There is nothing in Town Board Minutes authorizing this deal.
While the agreement gives an impression that the actual cost of this service is covered, nothing is mentioned about how this "over-time" will inflate the salary upon which the "Marquee Detail's" officer's retirement benefit will be calculated-- something that the tax payer will be on the hook for for the officer's retired life.
An unauthorized commitment of public resources to a private purpose . . . A personal benefit to be gained by the public employees that are directly involved in the service. Is that corruption? . . . . Or What?