Police underpaid-letter to editor


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TheeBadOne
January 6, 2003, 04:20 AM
http://www.thevictoriaadvocate.com/opinion/letters/v-print/story/727121p-861082c.html

Police underpaid and overworked

Monday, November 18th, 2002

Editor, the Advocate:
About our recent murders: Our crime rate has increased as the city has grown. We can add to the loop, but why can't we add to our local law enforcement? Our officers are overworked and underpaid.

We need more officers patrolling our streets. These men and women are the first to respond to any accident, no matter what the weather. They escort each and every funeral in the city. They respond to each 911 call -- even if it's a crank call. They even escort our local football team and band out of the city when they travel.

And they risk the chance every day of not coming home to their families.

Come on, Victoria! Do we want our crime rate lowered? These guys need more help to back them up and they need and deserve more pay. And we Victorians need our crime rate lowered.

VERA MARTINEZ
Victoria



I guess some citizens appreciate their local law enforcement after all.

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MitchSchaft
January 6, 2003, 04:48 AM
I think they should make more money. But at the same time I feel, if a raise was issued, that whoever was in charge of those monies would do wrong with it. It is the .gov that would do the hanging out, no?

TheeBadOne
January 6, 2003, 06:18 AM
In most areas the breakdown of the moneys is public information. Form municipal officers its in the cities annual budget. Same for county and state officers. Law Enforcement budgets are watched like a hawk, not because of corruption, but because the gov is always looking for places to make cuts.

Khornet
January 6, 2003, 08:11 AM
Police officers
Firemen
Servicemen

Ain't enough dough in the treasury to pay them what they deserve.

Derek Zeanah
January 6, 2003, 11:18 AM
The numbers for the town I grew up in were 1 cop per 10,000 population, or at least that was the goal (we were often lower than that). Last time I looked into the local police shortage (different town this time) they were hiring almost anyone who showed an interest, at something like $8/hour.

Seems a little low if you're looking for competent people.

I wonder about the "highly dangerous" part -- weren't there 150 cops killed in the last year nationwide?

TallPine
January 6, 2003, 11:56 AM
Crime solution:

1) Enforce the second amendment

2) Fewer police who are paid more to write up the report on dead criminals and chase down the ones that survived.

Cal4D4
January 6, 2003, 12:03 PM
A few years back here in Redondo Beach, CA a new city comptroller was hired to figure out some problems with the city payroll. His reimbursement was legendary - and in all the local papers. The gist of his findings was a problem with the police payroll. Our city was, and may still be on a 3/36 scedule for the PD. By shifting vacation days and working for others several normal patrol officers were receiving pay in the $100K+ range. A handful more were receiving in excess of $90K. I believe they listed normal base pay around $60K+ with many enhancements. All this was in public papers a couple years ago. End result was the very powerful police union got the comptroller fired. He took a very generous golden parachute - around $750K - and went to work elsewhere. All this is public record. We are a city of approx 60K people. We are not and never have been a very dangerous place to work. 75% of the town is middle to upper middle class working families.

If you are underpaid wherever you are, come on down, PD got it REAL GOOD in RB.

Edited to add: It is not considered easy to get on here and I have had pretty good luck with what we got. Not alot of "Barney Fife" types around. Guess you get what you pay for.

Mikul
January 6, 2003, 03:15 PM
Police in large cities tend to be overpaid. A high-school graduate of the right color and sex can be a Philadelphia police officer and make $42,000 his first year not including overtime which can easily push it to $60,000.

Do they do dangerous work? Occasionally. Are they on call? Sometimes, but talk to them about their day to day tasks and you realize how overpaid they are and how rare the truly dangerous work really is for many of them.

I talked to an officer who has been in the force for 3 years. She pulled her gun twice. Once while investigating break-in that turned out to be a nosey cat and once while screwing a gun to a guys ear while her fellow officers kicked him. Other dangerous endeavors including rushing into a burning building to save the occupants only to become overcome with smoke before getting 3 feet inside the door and having to be rescued herself. You wouldn't believe how she bragged about that last item.

Raising the salary won't make people work harder, it only encourages imbeciles to try to get the job instead of the people who really care.

Lets face it, the qualifications necessary to be a police officer of almost non-existant. If you can put urine in a cup without drug residue in it, you're qualified. If they want better officers, they'll need to raise their expectations as well as the salary.

TheeBadOne
January 6, 2003, 03:24 PM
Lets face it, the qualifications necessary to be a police officer of almost non-existant.

I don't know what state you’re from but most states have some licensing requirements for Police Officers. An example is in my state the requirements are a minimum of a 2 yr college degree in LE, a critical skills course (some would compare it to an academy, 8- 10 weeks), pass a written test, kind of like the Cop version of the Lawyer BAR exam, and pass a psychological test before being employed, and pass a physical agility examination. Any conviction of any level of Theft (yes, simple misdemeanor) disqualifies you from ever being a cop. The minority leagues tried to get this overturned a short while ago, but it was fought off.

mrat
January 7, 2003, 05:37 AM
Do they do dangerous work? Occasionally. Are they on call? Sometimes, but talk to them about their day to day tasks and you realize how overpaid they are and how rare the truly dangerous work really is for many of them.

I talked to an officer who has been in the force for 3 years. She pulled her gun twice. Once while investigating break-in that turned out to be a nosey cat and once while screwing a gun to a guys ear while her fellow officers kicked him. Other dangerous endeavors including rushing into a burning building to save the occupants only to become overcome with smoke before getting 3 feet inside the door and having to be rescued herself. You wouldn't believe how she bragged about that last item.

I detect a bit of bias against LEOs in this post. Pulled her firearm twice in three years of being a LEO? In Philly? Not unless she was a desk officer the whole time.

Mikul
January 9, 2003, 04:36 PM
I was talking strictly about Philadelphia police. The Philly requirements are high school diploma (which some people are complaining is too restrictive... I kid you not), police academy, drug test, background test and the most pitiful pistol qualification requirements known to man... probably.

Actually, these are the two big events of her first year as an officer. I get the impression that she has to pull her gun rather frequently due to most adult males being unimpressed with her 95lb frame.

I have too many Philadelphia police officer stories and they're all straight from the horses mouth which makes me want to hurl when I hear about the need to increase salaries.

What stories I have gotten from other urban PD's sound identical. Baltimore actually sounds worse off than Philly.

ojibweindian
January 9, 2003, 05:11 PM
A raise would be a good idea to attract quality people to fill positions. However, giving a raise to the bastard in Cookeville would seriously chaff my tuckus.

dave
January 9, 2003, 05:22 PM
The only places where it is hard to become a police officer are the places that are controled by the big boys (Unions, Laywers, ACLU, NAACP, and so forth). These are the same groups that make it near impossible to fire bad cops. Why? Duh, you tell me.

The public, for the most part, wants bad cops gone. The other cops who work with the bad ones want them gone. No one can seem to do it. Again, why? Several answer to that I think.

The unions don't want anyone fired, don't want to lose the dues. Nor do they want the "rank and file" to see them as weak. The laywers would much rather have a "dumb" or "bad" cop work the case they go into court to beat. You can figure out why. The ACLU thinks no one should be fired, ever. Surely it violates some "right", somewhere. The NAACP is more concerned how the dept "looks" rather than how the officers "act". If one of these groups tell the "public" how the dept is being "unfair" by firing a bad cop, or that they are "mistreating" a cop by letting him/her go, even if they robbed a bank, the public will beat down the dept doors, until it takes the officer back.

A couple of years ago, in Tulsa, OK, an on duty (i think) plain clothes cop walked into a bank to cash his check. His partner waited in the car. While in the bank, someone started to rob the place. The cop walked back to his car and told his partner "we better get out of here, the place is being robbed". He late admitted that he was scared and didn't want to get shot. His partner would have none of it and called for backup. He then went inside (again, in plain clothes) and stopped the robber.

The dept fired the "scared" cop, as they should have. BUUUUT, the NAACP threatened to file suit (and did). There was a big and long court battle, cost the dept millions. Finally setteled out of court. The guy lost his job, thank God, but left with a large chunk of change in his pocket. He was later hired buy a small town as the police chief. He and the NAACP threatened to sue the town if he didn't get the job. Half the town marched on the PD to let them know they wanted this guy.

"People get the kind of police they deserve." Yep, I'll have to buy that.

Yet everyday, people blame every officer for something only one or two in the dept do. I think they like doing that, because they just don't like anyone who they think is in a posistion of "authority" over them. Forget the fact that they didn't put themselves there, society did that. Some people just don't like it and would rather see all police gone. Period. These are usualy the "free thinkers".

bogie
January 9, 2003, 05:24 PM
All too often police departments spend cash on "force multipliers" that do little to actually increase crime prevention/public safety.

Hire more cops, and spend more cash on training. Don't buy new guns (gasp!) - spend the cash on ammo and training.

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