A New York police union is offering cash rewards to everyday people who intervene to help officers involved in violent confrontations, an initiative the city’s police department is against staunchly.
Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins said at a press conference that the program is “designed for people to get involved in their communities to support the police,” but not to act as “vigilantes,” Fox 5 reported.
“We don’t want civilians to come out and start beating people with bats,” Mullins said. “We want you to help restrain, and follow the direction of an officer that is out there.”
The union is offering a $500-cash reward for those who take part in the program.
The New York Police Department, however, is warning the public against getting involved in violent altercations.
“The NYPD encourages people to support their cops by calling 911,” the NYPD said in a statement. “The department doesn’t want to see people put in harm’s way unnecessarily to collect a reward.”
Dr. Darrin Porcher, a retired NYPD lieutenant, told Fox 5 that in most cases civilians would be at risk.