Jamie Dimon would probably make a great cop because he's a badass who doesn't take shit or prisoners from anyone. Ken Lewis obviously how to administer a sobriety test on a possibly drunk driver. Despite protests the contrary, Jimmy Cayne knows his way around a nightstick. Dick Fuld has spent the last year showing up to industry parties attempting to make citizen's arrests. And I can see Vikram Pandit patrolling the streets on horseback. But riddle me this-- in the event a stranger came up to you on the street and tried to slit your throat with a razor blade, would you take comfort in knowing the colleague to your left or right, the one flirting with the Bloomberg help desk guy or sucking ass at Hearts was the police officer on duty? I certainly hope so 'cause guess what kids? The ex-Wall Streeters who aren't getting into the transportation service business or doing the street meat thingare becoming cops.
A year and a half ago, Henry Chung was an assistant vice president at Merrill Lynch, monitoring billions of dollars the firm traded on a daily basis. Last week, he found himself, in his capacity as a patrol officer in Jackson Heights, Queens, chasing after a man who had slashed another man's neck with a razor blade. He grabbed the man from behind, pushed him up against a wall and handcuffed him.
"It's a little different than looking at a computer monitor trying to figure out why there's a million bucks missing in the firm's accounts," Officer Chung, 34, said in a telephone interview.
Officer Ricardo Montilla, who had been a financial adviser for Washington Mutual in Brooklyn, said he had hit a wall in his civilian pay, and joined the force in December. "I was making a lot of money, and then not making money," he said. "As the economy got worse, the investments dried up and I needed more stability. The police offer a pension that's unheard of."
In the current first-year class of rookies, Officer Montilla, 31, is one of several refugees from the financial industry, an uncommon breeding ground for police officers. He and two academy classmates who had also worked in finance said they had been willing to give up larger salaries partly because they were afraid they would not be able to support their families if the economy continued to slow.
When Officer Chung is around colleagues at his station house in Jackson Heights, he said, he is often chided for leaving his lucrative profession."They ask me if my secretary is still working for me," Officer Chung said. "They ask me if I have any stories how we high rollers used to do it. They ask me where they can find a fancy steak. And how much were you making and why were you doing this."