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Why do people say Cops Are Poor?

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  • Why do people say Cops Are Poor?

    I dont understand why people always talk down about cops not making amazing money, yes starting at 38,000 is nothing compared to a engineneer who starts off at 55,000.

    But 38,000 is enough to pay your rent, car, bills, phone, etc with some change left over to save.

    If I was working in the field now(I am hoping to be in 2 years) I would have like 1500 extra bucks and more extra.

    NOTE: I dont live under support from my parents, I chose to be responsible and move for college and pay my own rent. So I do know how much my bills would cost.

    To be honest, I would be happy with the pay because its a job I love and I still would have money left over.

  • #2
    All depends on locality. $38k is decent in most areas of TN, but it would not get you anywhere in any decent urban setting in CA, NY and other states. I know some agencies in rural areas of TN that start their officers around $10/hr.

    Regardless if the starting pay is $30k or $60k, we don't get paid enough for what we have to deal with. Same goes for teachers, counselors, and others in social work.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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    • #3
      True, I live in Orlando Florida. I know its under pay'd, but this is how I view it. If I can support myself and have money left over and its something I want to do then im gonna stick with it.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SgtScott31 View Post
        All depends on locality. $38k is decent in most areas of TN, but it would not get you anywhere in any decent urban setting in CA, NY and other states. I know some agencies in rural areas of TN that start their officers around $10/hr.

        Regardless if the starting pay is $30k or $60k, we don't get paid enough for what we have to deal with. Same goes for teachers, counselors, and others in social work.
        So very true! But thats why the ladies and gentlemen who last in those jobs are usually good at them because they are there to make a difference, not for a paycheck.

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        • #5
          Ah, but you have now spouse or rug rats to care for. You are not making house payments, fire insurance, homeowners insurance, earthquake insurance or flood insurance and trying to save 10% of your monthly salary for a child's college fund, your personal retirement and the like.

          Living in Southern Caliifornia and earning less than $70000.00 a year places you in the upper-lower income bracket. You cannot even qualify for a decent home in a safe neighborhood - even with a 20% down payment.

          From where you are now, the money looks good.

          Add the above factors and you will be eating a lot of beans and tacos.
          Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

          [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Hoosier_Boy View Post
            So very true! But thats why the ladies and gentlemen who last in those jobs are usually good at them because they are there to make a difference, not for a paycheck.
            So why not compensate them for it?

            Its not that all cops are poor. It's that they make less and deal with more than some that make much more and deal with less.

            In some cities in Oklahoma, pay rates are less than 8-10 bucks an hour and carry no benefits. Put in perspective: If you get shot in the line of duty and live, you are now dependent on Workmen's Compensation only. Whats 60% of 10 bucks and hour?

            See how sad it can be? Yes, some cops are poor.
            -918-

            Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18

            Clinging to my guns and religion since 1975

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mruiz46 View Post
              I dont understand why people always talk down about cops not making amazing money, yes starting at 38,000 is nothing compared to a engineneer who starts off at 55,000.

              But 38,000 is enough to pay your rent, car, bills, phone, etc with some change left over to save.

              If I was working in the field now(I am hoping to be in 2 years) I would have like 1500 extra bucks and more extra.

              NOTE: I dont live under support from my parents, I chose to be responsible and move for college and pay my own rent. So I do know how much my bills would cost.

              To be honest, I would be happy with the pay because its a job I love and I still would have money left over.

              Well, lets do the math. 38,000 divided by 12 months is about 3170 a month. After taxes that is about 2400 take home. In Orlando a one bedroom apartment is at least 900 so that now leaves you with 1500 which you say is what you would have left. Did you forget about gas and electric, car payment, car insurance, renters insurance, gas, health insurance, food, etc. You would not have $1500 extra laying around.....and that is just YOU. Factor in a spouse and family and the numbers skyrocket. You need to rething your calculations a bit and factor in real world expenses.

              If you want to actually think about buying a home for a future and your retirement you are nowhere near making enough to qualify, to save for retirement or to pay for kids college.

              Now..... as far as being underpaid. Not many other professions that have to deal with what we do and that is what we should be paid for. We will never be paid what we should.....and most of us know that and do it for other reasons besides just the money.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Fuzz View Post
                most of us know that and do it for other reasons besides just the money.
                And some of us do it and don't get paid!
                “We don't disagree, you are wrong. Until you have a clue what you are talking about we can't disagree.” - cgh6366

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SgtScott31 View Post
                  Regardless if the starting pay is $30k or $60k, we don't get paid enough for what we have to deal with. Same goes for teachers, counselors, and others in social work.
                  Amen. As a teacher, I know people think we have it great because we get summers off, but when school is in session the ones who are serious about their jobs end up working over twelve hours a day and sometimes even on the weekends (to plan lessons, grade work, and communicate with parents).

                  However, my husband is making even less than I did when I first began teaching here in GA.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nuthead View Post
                    And some of us do it and don't get paid!
                    Sorry....didnt mean to forget the reserves,volunteers,etc.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Fuzz View Post
                      Sorry....didnt mean to forget the reserves,volunteers,etc.
                      No apology necessary, I didn't take it that way. I took it to say exactly the way I feel - we (any of us) don't do it for the money.
                      “We don't disagree, you are wrong. Until you have a clue what you are talking about we can't disagree.” - cgh6366

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SgtCHP View Post
                        Ah, but you have now spouse or rug rats to care for. You are not making house payments, fire insurance, homeowners insurance, earthquake insurance or flood insurance and trying to save 10% of your monthly salary for a child's college fund, your personal retirement and the like.

                        Living in Southern Caliifornia and earning less than $70000.00 a year places you in the upper-lower income bracket. You cannot even qualify for a decent home in a safe neighborhood - even with a 20% down payment.

                        From where you are now, the money looks good.

                        Add the above factors and you will be eating a lot of beans and tacos.
                        I've always wondered about that fact. Are incomes really that much higher in California? Here in Kansas they generally won't lend you more than 4x your annual income to buy a house. I make $60,000 a year right now, so the biggest loan i could get would be $240,000, and the payments would stretch me to the very limits. In California, $240,000 wouldn't buy you a ghetto house.

                        So my question is this, is there some sort of funny financing in California? (40-50 year mortgages, loaning people 6-7x their annual income )

                        We all know that those interest only loans came from Cali so people could afford the expensive homes.
                        What is Perseverance?
                        -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
                        -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
                        -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


                        BOP - BPA - ICE

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mruiz46 View Post
                          I dont understand why people always talk down about cops not making amazing money, yes starting at 38,000 is nothing compared to a engineneer who starts off at 55,000.

                          But 38,000 is enough to pay your rent, car, bills, phone, etc with some change left over to save.

                          If I was working in the field now(I am hoping to be in 2 years) I would have like 1500 extra bucks and more extra.

                          NOTE: I dont live under support from my parents, I chose to be responsible and move for college and pay my own rent. So I do know how much my bills would cost.

                          To be honest, I would be happy with the pay because its a job I love and I still would have money left over.
                          Because the pay is not matching the level of professionalism you have to have in order to keep this job and not end up either fired by second guessing non-knowing politicans and citizens making decisions on a split second decision you made in the heat of the moment. Or worse incarcerated and even worse dead. thats why we don't get paid enough. Not too mention most officers I know not only have college but also have a military background and that along with the constant up grade in training we receive on a yearly basis to keep our certifications and or be proficent at our job as well not just in our equpment but our training as well as keeping up with the law as much almost as a freakin attorney even. Then there is what we actually do for citizens. If I had a dollar for every time I gave free legal advice I'd be a millionaire, easy, much less what attorneys give at $400 an hour and im not even going to get into the social counciling and other roles we play. Some nights we ride around and nothing happens and it seems like we have it made, then all of a sudden you are on a call and you are fighting for your very life or saving someone else's so how do you put a value on that? We are there when people call, it does not matter about holidays or weekends or hurricane weather, we are there, period. We tote around our body weight in gear to include wearing a hot stinky vest and we stand in inclimate weather for hours sometimes. If you take not only all that we are even before we are hired like I said with college and military service and screening so tough that most present and past presidents wouldn't pass the backgrounds, then you add in all that I already mentioned about the risk of the job and doing the job you would have to agree the pay is at best a DISGRACE...The responsiblity of not only becoming L.E. but staying in L.E. deserves way higher pay. period...
                          "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

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                          • #14
                            bottom line is blue.

                            Originally posted by Outshined
                            First of all, I cannot fathom someone doing this job for free. With that said, I started at 15,000. I had a wife and one child. I struggled even back then with junk cars, and all. I was getting farther and farther in debt. Then we had child two. 38,000 is no where near what our guys and gals deserve. And it is extremely difficult to live on that amount of money. The only good thing is you know you will have a job as long as you do it right.
                            or as long as the people you work for to include others outside of your department "think" you do it right.. No officer is above scrutiny in this youtube aged society. I agree with you though, I started 15 years ago right at 18k and when I was the hardest working officer on the department I lived in a salt box house with a hand me down stationwagon for my family, had two kids one in school the other premature in and out of hospitals with major medical bills and I lived at work for enough ot to get by with court and special duty and it was very hard. Now I do less and make more than I ever have and still complain about how much we make..I still couldn't see doing anything else though...
                            "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mruiz46 View Post
                              I dont understand why people always talk down about cops not making amazing money, yes starting at 38,000 is nothing compared to a engineneer who starts off at 55,000.

                              But 38,000 is enough to pay your rent, car, bills, phone, etc with some change left over to save.

                              If I was working in the field now(I am hoping to be in 2 years) I would have like 1500 extra bucks and more extra..

                              making amazing money huh? lets see, we currently qualify for WIC and other government assistance because i dont make crap. i dont make 38k per year and you wont either if you go with FHP unless you work in the 6 out of 67 counties that pay 38k, which orlando is not. try more like 33k. and how many agencies in the state pay less than that?...probably most. my agency starts you out at $28,600 and our cost of living is similar to orlando.

                              $800 will rent you a place in the hood + pay 150 for electric + 90 for water, fire, trash + 25 for renters insurance + 155 for car insurance + 400 car payment + 140 for basic cable, internet and phone package + $100 for health insurance + 50 for vision and dental + 200 student loans = $2110 per month

                              2110 per month out of 28,600 per year - taxes = less than $0.00 left over and you have still yet to buy food for your son, wife, and yourself. you still have not bought groceries, or clothes. then when amendment 1 hits and they take $100 per month out of your paycheck it makes it that much harder. and a lot of pd's make you pay into your retirement on top of all that.

                              we do not get paid overtime, only comp time. you do not get paid court time. the only extra cash you are going to get is working off duty details but those are scarce.

                              good thing i saved my $$$ while i worked in banking and invested my severance package when wachovia bought us. if i didnt i would be flat broke, and i dont know how the new guys do it.
                              Last edited by luckydog; 09-10-2008, 09:35 PM.

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