A New York police union wants New Yorkers to help cops making tough arrests -- rather than recording it on their phones -- and they even want civilians to get cash for it.
But the NYPD has responded saying it doesn't want people putting themselves in harm's way just to collect a reward.
The 'Help a Cop' initiative was announced by the New York City Sergeants Benevolent Association at a press conference Wednesday morning. Association president Ed Mullins said the initiative would see a $500 reward offered to any person who helps a member of law enforcement during an arrest where the suspect is resisting.
He insisted the plan was not about promoting civilians fighting crime, rather about helping struggling cops.
"It's not a program of vigilantism, it's not against community imbalance and it's certainly not against people taking photos...people have the right to take photos of police photos," he said.
The plan was also to give New Yorkers an incentive to help the police during arrests, rather than recording them on their phones. He referred to a 34th precinct incident when he said an officer was "struggling and fighting" trying to make an arrest for nine minutes as civilians watched on.
"All we saw was people taking videos with their cellphones," he said.
But the NYPD responded to the plan saying it didn't want people put in harm's way to get $500. "The NYPD encourages people to support their cops by calling 911," it said.
Mullins said they association was working on legislation to make the reward initiative happen. He says they’d like to base the new legislation off current Good Samaritan laws so the person who steps in is protected under the law.