New York police union cards, which officersÂ give their friends and family as ‘get out of jail free’ cards for minorÂ offenses, are selling on eBay for as much as $100 a pop and city authorities areÂ fuming, the New York Post reports.
The union cards are meant to be used to proveÂ that a police officer can vouch for another person, though holders often useÂ them to get out of minor incidents like parking and speeding violations.
A New Yorker who shows one of the cards alongÂ with identification is indicating that he or she is either a cop or closelyÂ connected to one.
‘It’s a way for a police officer to vouch forÂ another person,’ City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. told the Post. ‘ThatÂ type of recommendation shouldn’t be available to the highest bidder.’
Cards from the Patrolmen’s BenevolentÂ Association, Detectives’ Endowment Association, the Lieutenants BenevolentÂ Association and the Sergeants Benevolent Association are also selling on theÂ auction site at different price ranges.
The cards that represent officers of a higherÂ rank are reportedly worth more because they carry more weight than a streetÂ patrolman’s card.
Some cards are priced as low asÂ $10.
Police union leaders and elected officialsÂ say they want an investigation carried out and are looking for a way to stop theÂ online card sales.
New York Republican Councilman Dan HalloranÂ of Queens said he fears the cards could end up with terrorists orÂ criminals.
‘Having the card in conjunction with aÂ properly formatted wallet and a courtesy shield – that’s the problem,’ saidÂ Halloran, who serves on the city’s Public Safety Committee.
New York Democratic Councilman Dan GarodnickÂ of Manhattan said he thinks the cards should be eliminated completely to avoidÂ ethical breaches.
‘Our traffic laws should not be enforced withÂ winks and nods,’ he told the Post. ‘I don’t know which is worse, the existenceÂ of a get-out-of-jail-free card or the fact that the cards are being hawked onÂ the Internet.’