NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 4:00 AM
Rachel Niccoll, a runner who recently competed in an Escape from Alcatraz triathlon, retired from the NYPD on a taxpayer-funded disability pension.
Add a runner who recently competed in an Escape from Alcatraz triathlon to the rogues gallery of NYPD cops who retired on a taxpayer-funded disability pension.
Rachel Niccoll, who spent 13 years on the force before retiring in 2009, receives the generous pension package that pays her $ 66,083 a year, plus benefits — and also regularly runs races in New York, records show.
A letter to the Daily News signed “concerned citizen” said Niccoll, 44, suffered a knee injury on the job.
The 44-year-old suffered a knee injury on the job, according to a letter from a “concerned citizen.”
“She has, since retirement, been able to participate in several grueling sports events which many able body full duty (Members of the Service) would have a hard time participating much less finishing,” the letter read.
“Why am I doing this? Many truly deserving individuals have been denied or put through the ringer to get their benefits.”
The New York City Police Pension Fund confirmed Niccoll — who worked in the 24th Precinct on the Upper West Side — received the disability pension but would not reveal the nature of her injury.
Online records show that three years after retirement she competed in the 2012 Harryman triathlon on Bear Mountain. At the 2013 Escape From Alcatraz triathlon she placed 50th in her age group. All told, Niccoll competed in at least eight triathlons, including in Thailand and Ireland. Numerous photos of her at finish lines are posted online.
Between 2013 and February 2015, she also competed in at least 15 running competitions in New York City — including the 2014 New York City Marathon, records show.
Niccoll did not respond to an inquiry from The News.
Her mother, Bridgett Niccoll, said the ex-cop still has difficulty walking and has only participated in a few swimming sports — on her doctor’s advice.
“That’s all she ever wanted to do, to be part of the police. She got injured on the job. She loved that job. She didn’t want to retire. I see her in pain all the time,” Bridgett Niccoll said.
The News’ coverage of questionable NYPD disability pensions highlighted an ex-officer who participated in bodybuilding competitions while receiving public money for a shoulder injury. Another retired NYPD cop receives a disability pension while running footraces and working as a sheriff in southern Florida.
Niccoll was hired in July 1996 — less than 20 years ago. Under pension rules, the department has the right to order retirees with disability pensions hired less than 20 years ago to return for a physical.
If they pass the physical, the NYPD can force them to return to work for the department if they want to retain their pension.
“They can bring her back immediately and give her a physical, and if she passes, they can put her back on the NYPD,” said a source familiar with the rules.