Philly cops not collecting

    Philadelphia’s City Controller says the city should be actively collecting fees for police services rendered to private entities and other government agencies. The city sends police to private establishments like night clubs in exchange for payment. WHYY’s Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

    Philadelphia’s City Controller says the city should be actively collecting fees for police services rendered to private entities and other government agencies. The city sends police to private establishments like night clubs in exchange for payment. WHYY’s Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.
    Caption: City Controller Alan Butkovitz

    [audio: reports20090129copsfees.mp3]

    Transcript:
    Controller Alan Butkovitz says keeping the peace for private events cost the city more than $6.5 million dollars over the past eight years. The report is just one of several Butkovitz has released in recent months to try to save the city money.

    Butkovitz: “Right now, we’re trying to put together a comprehensive list of what we think is the most attainable money that’s out there because everybody wants to do everything they can to close this budget gap without hurting people.”

    But it may be difficult for Butkovitz to follow through on his recommendations. Zach Stalberg is President of the government watchdog group the Committee of Seventy. He says the Controller has little recourse if the city ignores his reports.

    Stalberg: “Over the long haul, though, I would like to see the Controller have a little bit more clout, and his responsibility be made a little clearer.”

    The city is following up on Butkovitz’s report on tax delinquents who he says owe the city around $27 million. Mayor Nutter has said he’ll try to collect from these tax deadbeats.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.