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An NYPD Inspector Honored Her Mother’s Passing—By Allegedly Making Her Subordinates Work OT at the Funeral

"I'm sorry for your loss, but that is wrong."

Lights on a NYPD vehicle at night.
(Michael Förtsch / Unsplash)

Last January, Victoria Perry, the executive officer of the NYPD's Community Affairs Bureau, gave an interview to John Jay College of Criminal Justice, her two-time alma mater. In it, she passed on a piece of advice to students hoping to work in law enforcement: "Always include your family. Let your family be part of your growth process as you continue to excel in the department. Bring them with you to functions and have them meet your coworkers. That way they’ll understand the work you’re doing and why it’s so important to you." 

Perry seems to take her own advice seriously—in October, she and an officer she supervises allegedly "commanded" Perry's subordinate officers to attend—and work at—her mother's funeral. According to documents reviewed by Hell Gate, these cops were at the funeral service while on duty and beyond their scheduled hours, meaning that they also incurred overtime pay for their attendance. 

Hell Gate also spoke to a source with knowledge of the incident, who agreed to talk on the condition of anonymity in order to protect their privacy. "It's a flex on her friends and her family, to basically show, 'Oh, look, I'm an inspector, look what I can do, look who I can bring. I can bring all these cops to my mom's funeral,'" the source said. "I'm sorry for your loss, but that is wrong."

According to a complaint sent to the City's Conflicts of Interest Board (COIB), the Department of Investigation (DOI), and the State Attorney General's office less than a week after the funeral, pressure to attend the gathering began on October 18, 2023, when Perry's mother, Tangie Perry, passed away. The complaint alleges that officers in her command received a flier for Perry's mother's funeral and that Perry and one of her subordinate officers, Lieutenant Joseph Abdelmessih, the operations coordinator of the Community Outreach Division, used their leadership positions to "request, organize, and command" several officers to attend. A week later, on October 25, according to the complaint, multiple uniformed police officers from the Community Affairs Bureau and one of its subdivisions, the Community Outreach Division, attended the funeral. 

The flier for Perry's mother's funeral. (Hell Gate)

During the funeral, which took place at the Greater Allen AME Cathedral of New York, a Methodist church in Jamaica, Queens, the complaint alleges that cops were ordered to "direct traffic, stand outside, provide police presence and escort, [and] utilize department resources such as department police vehicles, sirens, and police authority". 

According to the source, the service started after 5 p.m. and lasted until roughly 9 p.m.—hours beyond the 9:30 a.m. to 6:05 p.m. shift CAB officers typically work, qualifying the cops present for overtime. 

Hell Gate has viewed internal documents confirming that at least six officers recorded their attendance at the funeral service, beyond their standard working hours. NYPD overtime pay is a consistent hot-button issue; according to a March 2023 report from Comptroller Brad Lander's office, by February 2023, the police department had already exceeded its FY2023 overtime budget by almost $100 million.

Many NYPD executives have been caught using department resources for their own gain, including Commissioner Edward Caban, who was disciplined internally for using his departmental vehicle for personal use at least 96 times within a three-year period between 2007 and 2010, including giving rides to his family. The former head of the NYPD Employee Relations Department, Robert Ganley, was ousted from the NYPD in 2022 less than a month after the New York Post reported that he took an NYPD helicopter to and from a gala in Philadelphia. Even non-NYPD leaders have caught grief for using the force for their own gain—most notably former Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was ordered to pay the City a $155,000 fine and $319,000 in travel reimbursement back in September, after he used NYPD officers as his security detail while traveling for his failed 2020 presidential bid.

And while the NYPD traditionally has a very heavy presence at the funerals of current and retired officers—including breaking out armored vehicles for the occasion—Tangie Perry was not a member of the NYPD. 

"I don't think it's uncommon to see an escort for a funeral for an MOS's [member of service] family, or even any member of the community that really requested it," John Macari, a retired NYPD lieutenant and co-host of the podcast "New York's Finest: Retired & Unfiltered," told Hell Gate. "When you're talking in terms of public safety, if the funeral procession is going to be a larger one, the police would wanna know about it and would send a car or two to direct that funeral procession." Even escorting funeral attendees, he said, wouldn't be out of the question, especially for a MOS's family member. Still, he said there's a limit to what's palatable. "If you wanted to go show your respect, and it was for a short period of time, that's one thing," he said. "But if that's what you were detailed to do today? That's wrong." Macari added, "Nobody should be ordered to do that, and nobody should be getting overtime. You gotta call it what it is, at that point—that's a misuse of police resources."

The anonymous source told Hell Gate that they're aware of police brass using police resources in their personal lives—they've heard of previous deployments for funerals, as well as happier family events like weddings or bar and bat mitzvahs. "You see this behavior with various members of the police department, especially high-level executives—there is no accountability whatsoever," the source said. "If this is something you can do as a cop, then all 32,000 members of the service should be afforded the same opportunity to have police personnel to be escorts to funerals and weddings and all of that—and again, it's inappropriate, because then who do you have out on the streets?"

A COIB representative told Hell Gate that the agency was prohibited from commenting on whether or not they are currently investigating Perry in relation to these allegations, citing the City's conflict of interest law, and the DOI and State Attorney General's Office declined to comment. The NYPD's press office did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Perry, who earned more than $214,000 last year, did not respond to a request for comment, and Abdelmessih referred this reporter to the NYPD press office.

Still, the source said they hope to see results—including Perry's removal from her position at the CAB, the branch of the NYPD that exists to improve the department's relationship with the people they serve. "This is why the public hates law enforcement," they said. "It's not just because of the abuse and the excessive force. She should be held accountable for her actions."

Got a tip about NYPD misuse of overtime? Reach out to tips@hellgatenyc.com.

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