The NYPD is responding to allegations that it bears some responsibility for the deadly accident Friday involving an auxiliary police officer.
An out-of-control NYPD van hit and killed a 55-year-old man on Elizabeth Street in Chinatown Friday. Behind the wheel was an 85-year-old auxiliary officer who mistakenly stepped on the gas instead of the brakes, authorities said.
The head of the Benevolent Association for Auxiliary Police said the group has been warning Police Commissioner Ray Kelly about the dangers posted by elderly auxiliary drivers since 2007.
"We have been advocating our suggestion and our opinion that there be an operation limit for auxiliary officers similar to those as regular police officers," said William Rivera, president.
The group wants offices to be forced to retire after the age of 63.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne responded in a statement: "Auxiliary volunteers perform an 'eyes and ears' function that does not have anything close to the requirements, contrary to Rivera's suggestion, as police officers who have law enforcement authority."