Saying New York City "has gone to shame," the president of the NYC Correction Officers' Benevolent Association is suing for "inhumane treatment," noting corrections officers are fleeing "deplorable conditions" to work for the NYPD.
"We're having the roughest time in my 22-year career ever," Benny Boscio told Sunday's "The Cats Roundtable" on WABC 770 AM-N.Y. "Officers are working triple shifts."
Boscio told host John Catsimatidis, short-staffed officers are working "in some cases 30 hours straight," filing a lawsuit against the state's Department of Corrections and the Department of Labor.
"It's inhumane treatment that the city's workforce has to go through," Boscio continued. "My corrections officers are suffering.
"We're trying to force the Department of Labor to provide a safe and healthy working environment to the DOC."
Boscio noted the officers are not being provided basic needs, including work relief and medical attention.
"It's terrible for us," he continued, adding, "they are not providing time for female officers [who are recent mothers] to be able to go to a separate location to pump their breastmilk for their babies. This is really an unsafe situation and deplorable for them to be treating us this way."
As a result, Boscio noted staffing shortages are exacerbated by more than 1,000 corrections officers leaving since January 2019, some going to work for the New York Police Department, all while state legislatures work to reform prison reform, cash bail, and face calls for defunding the police.
"It's a tragedy," he said of the officers leaving. "The Department [of Corrections] hasn't hired corrections officers in over 2 1/2 years. The deplorable conditions have forced corrections officers to leave their job, jump ship, and go to the NYPD.
"It's truly a shame," he continued. "We answered the call during COVID. We came to work every day. We are essential workers. We are first responders. And this is how we're being treated by the city."
The city has until Aug. 23 to respond to the lawsuit, he said.
"It shouldn't take us to have to sue to get health and safety issues [addressed] in this day and age," he said.
The new mayor to replace term-limited Mayor Bill de Blasio might help the situation, but it will also mean even more corrections officers will be needed as criminals go to prison.
"When the new mayor takes office, and they talk about cleaning up the City of New York – well, guess where everybody is going to be sent? Rikers Island," he concluded. "And we need 2,000 corrections officers to help us be able to [handle] that population.
"The city has gone to shame."
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