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  • SoCal Pay

    I periodically review salaries and benefits for SoCal agencies and they seem artificially low. Out east - our contracts / MOUs often include “hidden money” or other forms of compensation (FTO pay, hazard duty pay, location pay, etc.) Do most SoCal agencies work this way? Are cops really making 90-100k in a place where a decent house costs $750k+? What are most Cops averaging in Orange County / LA county? NYC and LI cops are making 150k+ with similar housing costs and / cost of living.
    Last edited by NYCopper; 03-13-2019, 03:42 PM.

  • #2
    Example being - My friends at LAPD with five years on appear to make 90k a year with a subpar pension plan (with questionable funding) and a house in a decent area running 650-750k+ while I work in upstate NY, make 120k+ a year with a much better pension plan, and a nice house costs 200k. I feel like I have to be missing something.

    I do have to deal with the snow but I’m not sure the disparity in pay / pension makes sense...Also from SoCal born and raised...
    Last edited by NYCopper; 03-13-2019, 03:48 PM.

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    • #3
      90k is their base. But that doesn’t include POST bonuses, bonuses for education/longevity, assignment bonuses etc. I think it’s fair to say that the majority of cops are making over $100 with minimal OT. $30k in OT isn’t much at all. Transparent California is a website that shows a breakdown if you’re interested.

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      • #4
        And I’d say those housing costs you mentioned are in the middle area. Houses easily go into the 800-900 in decent areas with an hour commute.

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        • #5
          Yes, a lot of California police compensation includes hideen compensation because the public complains so much about our salaries. They include things like shift differential, donning and doffing pay, special duty pay, longevity pay, bilingual pay, education/post certificate pay, lunch break (on call) pay, in addition to step raises. Added together, base pay can bve increased by as much as 30%.

          It used to be that the employer made our retirement contribution for us as part of hidden compensation but the tax payers cried foul on that one so it was stopped and our salaries were raised by a similar amount., ,
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            Lotta cops get house poor and depend on OT .I know a lot of guys that struggled when LAPD cut their OT and increased the PTO bank to 300 hours. Most work 2nd jobs if they cant get a lot of cash OT gigs on the department as its pretty cutthroat to get included in them

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            • #7
              You can look at transparent california and see what we actually make.... for the most part. But we do sometimes suffer from what's called "sunshine pay." Which means people will live here for less because of the weather/lifestyle. I think I never pulled in less than six figures though after five years on, and the pension I have is close to the best in the country. There are some severely underpaid agencies, like State Park Rangers/Fish and Game, and some smaller towns.

              Also LA City is a crappy example because there is almost no middle class housing there. People do farther commutes I think here.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by nobodyjr View Post
                You can look at transparent california and see what we actually make.... for the most part. But we do sometimes suffer from what's called "sunshine pay." Which means people will live here for less because of the weather/lifestyle. I think I never pulled in less than six figures though after five years on, and the pension I have is close to the best in the country. There are some severely underpaid agencies, like State Park Rangers/Fish and Game, and some smaller towns.

                Also LA City is a crappy example because there is almost no middle class housing there. People do farther commutes I think here.
                There are several under paid Departments but I'd have to disagree with the State park rangers. When considering what they do and where they work plus the added perk of a take home ride and government housing at several places. They do make some good money. But as far as fish and game yeah they don't make that great.

                Many unions had their MOU's from public view. But all do offer various perks of FTO, SWAT, Detective,K9 pays and so on. I make a very comfortable salary and live in a comfortable area of my county. And my commute is about 20mins to work. San Francisco is the exception to salaries and housing with L.A. close behind. Meaning housing SUCKS for anyone.
                I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

                It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.

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                • nobodyjr
                  nobodyjr commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Housing and take homes I don't think are normal for them, at least not in my county. In an OHV park like Ocotillo or Pismo they are hustling all kinds of garbage. At the state beaches they are hustling all day too. With all the incentives they are topping out at 7k. That's the lowest peace officer pay around here. There are some good videos their union put out on the issues they face that might change your opinion. I'm sure like any department they have some cake assignments, and some in cheaper areas, but they are critically understaffed and most hustle.

              • #9
                I had a feeling there had to be something I was missing. I reviewed transparent California prior to the post but it isn’t that “transparent.” I appreciate the responses. I miss the weather but can’t justify the move back unless I could clear $200-250k a year according to cost of living calculators / housing costs...

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                • #10
                  Transparent CA is misleading as the amount shown includes your health benefits ect, which adds 20-40K+ to your annual 'salary'

                  I'm at the highest level you can go with my agency in my job classification; along with 20;25;30 year pay bumps and an advanced POST cert and am at about 115K per year

                  You wont touch a LE career out here that pays 200K a year unless you are way up the food chain, or max out your OT every month....and the OT can evaporate suddenly and without much warning
                  The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

                  "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

                  "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

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                  • #11
                    250K a year (without OT) is roughly what a Division Chief makes with my agency....same with LAPD ect
                    The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

                    "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

                    "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by LA DEP View Post
                      250K a year (without OT) is roughly what a Division Chief makes with my agency....same with LAPD ect
                      That’s what I figured. As much as I miss family, friends, food and the weather - there is really no comparison between east coast and west coast when it comes to pay / benefits - especially after the CALPERS degradation.

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by LA DEP View Post
                        Transparent CA is misleading as the amount shown includes your health benefits ect, which adds 20-40K+ to your annual 'salary'

                        I'm at the highest level you can go with my agency in my job classification; along with 20;25;30 year pay bumps and an advanced POST cert and am at about 115K per year

                        You wont touch a LE career out here that pays 200K a year unless you are way up the food chain, or max out your OT every month....and the OT can evaporate suddenly and without much warning
                        I frequently try to talk myself into moving back - usually in Nov when it starts to snow. But my base is 120k (145 at the end of this five year contract). My house on 6 wooded acres is 200k. I will leave with a full pension of 70-80k a year at 43 years old with 20 years on and God willing about a mil in my deferred comp / 401k and paid medical. Not gonna get much better than this - but I’m in a frozen hell of a liberal purgatory for the time being...

                        The only people that make my governor not look like a raging liberal ******* are AOC, Elizabeth Warren, and your governor...
                        Last edited by NYCopper; 03-14-2019, 10:49 AM.

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