Last week, New York City issued a request for bids from private security companies to patrol its migrant facilities amid an ongoing police staffing shortage.
The job is too “volatile” and “dangerous” for unarmed peace officers, according to the union Teamsters Local 237, the New York Post reported. Gregory Floyd, the head of the union, explained that peace officers are not equipped to deal with the potential dangers at these centers.
“There are migrants who are gang members in these facilities,” he told the Post. “It’s volatile. It’s dangerous. We don’t know if all these migrants are properly vetted. My members are unarmed.”
Democratic Mayor Eric Adams stated that he anticipates the influx of migrants to cost city taxpayers $4.5 billion by next summer. City officials reported that migrant services, including the Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Centers, already total nearly $8 million daily. It is unclear at this time how much the additional private security would cost.
Republican City Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli slammed the city for its conflicting message regarding safety.
“On the one hand, the city is telling people how safe these migrant centers are in their neighborhoods,” Borelli told the Post. “At the same time, the city is spending millions of dollars to keep people safe at the migrant facilities.”
NYC Health + Hospitals, a government-run public health care system that manages many of the city’s HERRC sites, requested bids on Friday for private security “as a response to the mass influx of asylum seekers arriving in New York.”
“The primary role of security is to ensure the safety of guests and staff while creating a welcome, safe place for all individuals on the site,” the request stated. “The HERRC protocols and procedures surrounding safety must be enforced.”
The city’s police union told the Post that it is facing an ongoing recruiting crisis and a surge in “voluntary quits” that have left the department short by at least 1,200 officers.
Republican Representative Nicole Malliotakis from Staten Island criticized Adams for prioritizing migrants over the city’s residents.
“The No. 1 concern I hear from people in our city is public safety, yet instead of hiring more cops, he is spending taxpayers’ money on more services for migrants,” Malliotakis told the Post.
“The city is short cops and detectives, so those we have are being overworked, which only intensifies the stress and pressure that’s driving cops to retire and leave for other municipalities,” she added.
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