For Immediate Release
September 19, 2006
Contact: Steven M. Cohen
Mayor's Committee Seeks Qualified New Candidates
Retired City Law Enforcement Officers Appointed as Marshals May Now Collect their Pensions
Steven M. Cohen, Chairman of the Mayor's Committee on City Marshals, announced today a new recruitment drive for City Marshal applicants after enactment of a new State law that allows retired New York City Police Officers, Correction Officers, Deputy Sheriffs, and Fire Marshals to serve as City marshals while receiving their pensions.
Until Governor George Pataki signed the bill last week, a retired City law-enforcement officer who was appointed as a City marshal had to forfeit his or her City pension. That rule resulted from a Court of Appeals decision some years ago interpreting several sections of City and State law that prevent City retirees from "double dipping" – simultaneously collecting a pension and a salary from the same public employer. The new law was supported by Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Council.
Mr. Cohen said, "The work of a City marshal is sensitive, sometimes dangerous, and is best carried out by men and women who are knowledgeable about the law, accustomed to following rules and able to remain calm in stressful situations. Retired City police officers, correction officers, deputy sheriffs, and fire marshals offer training, skills, and experience that appear well-suited to those requirements. The public was ill-served by the previous law, which, as a practical matter, removed from consideration a whole category of qualified applicants, including many minority candidates, with precisely the kinds of training, skills, judgment, and maturity needed in a City marshal."
Mr. Cohen said the perverse effect of the previous restriction, rather than preventing inefficient "double dipping," was to prevent retired law enforcement officers from using the pensions they had earned to help them absorb the expenses of starting-up new businesses as City marshals.
City Marshals are independent public officers that are appointed by the Mayor and are not salaried City employees, said Mr. Cohen. They receive no City funds and cost the taxpayers nothing. Instead, they earn fees, set by State law, for enforcing the orders of the New York City Civil Court, including evictions, towing, seizures of utility meters, and money judgments. City Marshals must follow strict rules and keep detailed records prescribed by the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court and the Department of Investigation.
Qualifications for appointment as a City Marshal include United States citizenship, New York City residence at the time of appointment, a minimum age of 18, high school graduation or its equivalent, submission of required background and financial information to DOI, satisfactory completion of an approved training program, and a demonstrated ability to obtain a required bond, which is currently $100,000. Candidates must undergo DOI background checks and be recommended for appointment by the Mayor's Committee on Marshals. Mr. Cohen said that the Committee provides equal opportunity to all qualified applicants. Applications can be found at www.nyc.gov/marshals.
There are currently 39 City Marshals who carry out thousands of court orders each year. They include four new marshals who were appointed by Mayor Bloomberg in 2005 and 2006, based upon the Committee's recommendations.