A financially strapped Queens man was so desperate to be part of New York’s Finest, that he crowdsourced to afford the pricey uniforms and equipment to become a school safety officer.
In a posting titled “Uniform for NYPD Academy” on GoFundMe.com, Daeshawn Grimes wrote about a “time-consuming and financially draining” journey after he had to resign from his job at a juvenile detention center to try to qualify as a school safety officer — who expected to shell out $1,100 for Academy and graduation uniforms and a bag of equipment.
“Anyways, I’ll cut to the chase: I’m experiencing financial hardship and I need help paying for the mandatory uniform, etc. that the academy requires,” the 32-year-old wrote.
Grimes, who lives in Queens with his wife and 12-year-old son, was up to $1,088 as of Tuesday, before a supervisor caught wind of his posting and told him to take it down.
“I was just tired of asking my immediate family (for money),” Grimes told The Post.
He left his job at the Sheltering Arms juvenile detention center in the Bronx two months before joining the Academy in July because you can’t hold two city jobs at once.
Veteran cops said it’s a shame that an Academy candidate has to turn to GoFundMe to join the department, which has been having difficulty attracting recruits while competing with agencies across the country that pay better.
“It’s a disgrace that people who want to help New Yorkers have to put up GoFundMe pages to feed their families,” one source said. “There are people in all these uniform jobs who are homeless because they can’t afford the cost of living in the city.”
A uniform stipend is part of the School Safety Officers union contract, but Gries wouldn’t have gotten the money upfront.
Grimes plans to graduate in December and then go to college online to earn enough credits to qualify to become a police officer.
Police Academy recruits need to have 60 college credits.
“Right now, I’m actually lacking a few college credits,” Grimes said, adding that he already took the police officer exam and scored “very high.”
He’ll collect more than 20 credits for making it through the Academy.
He plans to take online classes while working in school safety to get the rest.
School Safety Agents attend the Police Academy for up to 17 weeks.
Training topics include law, police science, behavioral science, and physical training, according to the NYPD’s website.
School safety officer trainees are paid $36,958 a year on a probationary basis once they enter the Academy.
They have no weapons.
Ultimately, Grimes wants to be a police officer so he can help keep kids out of trouble.
“I got to work on the other end of the spectrum when kids get arrested,” he said. “I’m hoping to do community affairs and raise awareness, drug programs, weapons programs. That way, kids won’t be getting incarcerated.”