Put down the shield: Police should turn over pension data to the public

Pensions for government retirees have been public information in New York since forever, but for nearly a decade, the Empire Center for Public Policy has been trying to collect and publish names and dollar figures on its SeeThroughNY.net website — only to be stymied by the pension funds.

The first to refuse, in 2009, was the city’s police pension fund. The other funds followed that bad lead, forcing the Empire Center to fight through the courts.

Each and every time, after long legal fights, judges ruled the right way. Transparency has prevailed: with teachers (in 2014), firefighters (in 2015) and correction officers (in 2016). The police pension fund, is the lone remaining holdout. Rather than fighting in court, they should read the writing on the wall and give it up.

As shown by repeated Daily News exposés of ex-cops out on enhanced disability pensions who are running marathons, seeing who pockets what can help root out corruption. It’s also a matter of principle: The people have a right to know how billions of dollars of public money are being spent. Period.