It's tough being a cop. You're always in harm's way, you're never allowed to nap, and everybody rides your back if you happen to blow a red light en route to Dunkin' Donuts. And now this: the NYPD has a new policy prohibiting officers from picking up extra paid shifts during their paid vacations. From now on, if you're a cop on vacation, you'll have to just stay in your houseboat and pick up one paycheck like the rest of us.

The Post reports that the change is estimated to save the city an annual $4.1 million. But one unidentified NYPD official says the policy could put New Yorkers AT RISK during the holidays, when crime tends to spike. This time of year is also when many cops reportedly take their "working" vacations; in the past they've been allowed to spend one week of that vacation time policing the streets. But now they'll have to hang out at home or wander around the local mall, looking for teenagers to boss around.

Michael Palladino, head of the Detectives Endowment Association, tells the Post, "It would appear to be cheaper to exchange vacation days at straight time for cash than to fill that void on overtime." PBA president Patrick Lynch chimes in, "At a time when the NYPD is being cut by another 1,100 police officers, the City is eliminating a program ... that provides police protection to the city in a cost effective manner. The results will be that the city will have to staff these positions on overtime." Or just not staff them at all and see what happens?