Binghamton University Police could be in line for pandemic hazard duty bonuses if New York State answers the call of the state Police Benevolent Association.

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The PBA addressed the letter to the New York State Division of Budget and SUNY Chancellor asking for University Police across the state to be eligible to receive the pandemic bonuses. Other eligible professions for the pandemic pay bonuses include food service staff, housekeeping aides, maintenance workers, and medical secretaries and administrative support.

"It is bewildering that the women and men of the New York State University Police are not included amongst the essential frontline workers who will receive pandemic hazard duty bonuses," said PBA of New York State President and University Police Lieutenant's Director James McCarthy. "Our officers were in the field interacting with Covid-positive individuals and we worked shoulder to shoulder with the nurses and doctors at testing and vaccine clinics."

The PBA's letter noted that half of the New York State's University Police Officers contracted Covid-19 during the pandemic compared to 30% of the general public. They also noted that some officers were even shot at while protecting Upstate Medical Center so that people could receive the health care that they needed during the pandemic.

Despite the fact that most schools made the switch to online learning during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, University Police Officers were still needed to keep people who did remain on campus safe. And with the list of eligible frontline workers growing, the PBA should feel fairly confident that University Police Officers will be added to the list as well.

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