Green’s Dictionary of Slang

pad n.5

[SE pad (of paper), on which the payments are listed]
(US Und.)

the regular bribes paid to members of a US police department; usu. in phr. below.

[US]J. Scarne Complete Guide to Gambling 686: Pad – payroll. ‘Everybody’s on the pad, including the cop on the beat.’.
[US]N.Y. Times 19 Oct. 47: The gamblers of the city paid off the policemen on a regular monthly basis after they had been placed on what is called ‘the pad’.
[US]A. Rodriguez Spidertown (1994) 14: This week I gave him the pad. A small one — five grand [...] Would’ju believe that brat took off wi’ it? [...] Now I got cops on my ass.
[US]D. Winslow The Force [ebook] [T]he wiseguys wanted to run hookers, to run gambling [...] they gave a monthly envelope to the cops. It was called the ‘pad’.

In phrases

on the pad

1. (US Und.) of the police, accepting bribes; of a villain, paying bribes.

[US]L.A. Times 21 Oct. pt 1 27/1: It took about to months to verify he wasn’t an honest cop and to put him on the pad.
[US](con. 1949) J.G. Dunne True Confessions (1979) 144: You don’t see many cops in here [...] Unless they’re on the pad.
[US]N. Pileggi Wiseguy (2001) 99: We had most of the police on the pad.
[US](con. 1950s) Courtwright & Des Jarlais Addicts Who Survived 156: The New York Police Department charged me two thousand dollars a month to in order to operate between 110th Street and 125th Street [...] That was my territory. I couldn’t get busted in there. I was on the pad. At that time there was such a thing in existance, they called it ‘on the pad’.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 156: The most likely way Tarzon found out [...] is by one of the guys on our pad telling him.
[US]D. Winslow The Force [ebook] Malone is pissed. Either Teddy is blowing smoke or someone in Manhattan North is on Carter’s pad.

2. (US) in non-police use, used of any kind of free-loading.

Tampa Trib. (FL) 6 July 2C/4: Bonnie Prince Charlie has it made. As he turns 21 the royal exchequer will put him on the pad for $480,000 a year.