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  • Low Pay?

    I feel that this post is going to be just a way for me to vent.

    As citizens, you always here about how Police Officer's receive low pay for the type and amount of work that they do.

    As a Police Officer, I never really thought about the pay, until recently.

    The city for which I work for, gave raises to all employees, including Fire employees. Somehow, they managed to skip the Police Department.

    Our Union Prez, addressed the city coucil and mayor, only to be turned away. Reason given...no money in the budget. The city council asked for our union to hire a firm to conduct a study on pay in our state with various agencies of similar size.

    Their conclusion, our department was the second lowest paid in the state. Since their report from a month ago, we are now the lowest paid agency in the state for our size. The firm reported that our agency is now 18% behind the state average.

    On top of all this great news, it was discovered that our city had a surplus budget of 13.1 million from the previous year, yet they claim that they have no money.

    Hears the best part. This past week, our city council voted itself a pay raise. They decided to give themselves a $650 a month raise.

    Ok, I'm better now, not. At any rate, I'm not looking for sympathy. I just wanted everyone to know exactly how bad the pay can be. Oh, and a side note. Our agency starts out at 18k a year.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my job and understood what the pay was when I joined three years ago. But boy, it sure does make my job a little harder knowing how much our elected officials care about us.
    Attitude is a reflection of leadership.

  • #2
    You all are risking your lives. You should have gotten a pay raise. What do these council members do?! Sit at desks all day.
    It's not fair.
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    • #3
      cajuncop, I can really feel for you on this.

      Our county commissioners recently voted themselves and all ELECTED officials in the county a 20% to 22% raise, and graciously announced that they were going to give ALL OTHER county employees 7% (over the next two years). Initially, the 7% looks OK, not great, but OK, then you read carefully the part about "the next two years". GGGRRRRRRRRR

      Our maximum raise in the past 13 years, since I have been back here, has been 3%, with an average of 2.5%. Then one year, "they didn't have enough money for raises" and went and bought a building for several million dollars. They got a good deal, on the surface, paying ten cents on the dollar for the building itself. Then paid 14 million to have the asbestos removed AND built a skybridge to the courthouse. We got no raises that year.

      BTW, we start at $22,300 which is $6,000 BELOW the local PD.

      I can see your point, very well.
      Optimistic pessimist: Hope for the best, but expect the worst.


      [email protected]


      • #4
        I have no idea what our county council is p***ing the money on, but it's not us. When we went for a 10% across the board, the council said "oh no, if we do that for the S.O., then we have to do it for everyone". So f'ing what!!! If everyone from the engineers to the broom pushers want raises, let them fight for it like we are!!!

        The council wanted us to do a study of area agencies' salaries, too. When we showed them, they shot holes all in it. We're the second lowest paid county in FL, the lowest paid agency in our county(13 agencies), and I believe the fourth or fifth largest.

        One councilman had the nerve to say "well, we are very liberal with the overtime. We could take that away from you, too"

        Wasted money...time warp back to 1989 in Hampton, VA. We were the lowest paid in the area, but the tax base was pretty substantial. No one could say our money went toys, because it didn't. No chopper, only two dogs, no MDC's, very few take home cars, hardly anything extra issued, hell...we didn't even have mobile radios, only portables!!!

        Anyway, downtown Hampton had pretty much become a ghost town. The old Kingsway mall pretty much turned into an office park because of the malls. We had like 75% interest in a 12 floor building with a parking garage that was 40% capacity. Across the street was a Radison with another parking garage. They wanted, and I believe got, another like $5mill parking garage(WHY???)across the stree from the Radison. They also spent over a mill on a carousel restoration, then they realized they didn't have a building to put it in, so they spent another mill on that. Then they wanted to bring the air and space museum downtown with some new exhibits from NASA and The Smithsonian. Don't know what the cost of all that was. The end result..."...we don't have any money for pay raises for the P.D....".


        • #5
          Originally posted by FLLawdog:

          Wasted money...time warp back to 1989 in Hampton, VA. We were the lowest paid in the area, but the tax base was pretty substantial.
          Speaking of time warps....
          When I was dispatching for my current department, the deputies were making $825 per month (some of them with families qualified for assistance) and dispatchers made $600. The county commissioners at the time said the time-tested "we don't have money for raises".

          An industrious reporter for the local newspaper did some digging and found a couple of accounts with something like $14 Million total that they HADN'T mentioned in their "open meeting". When he brought this to their attention, suddenly EVERYONE got a $40 across the board (per month) raise. Doesn't sound like much by today's standards, but at the time it nearly 7% for me!!

          BTW, this was 1980.
          Optimistic pessimist: Hope for the best, but expect the worst.


          [email protected]


          • #6
            [QUOTE]Originally posted by cajuncop:
            Our agency starts out at 18k a year.

            I'm stunned at what I read here! I really thought that police officers in the US were valued "money wise" a lot more then they appear to be. Are there any locations where they are paid well?


            • #7
              I know that in the state of NJ, officers get paid very well...In Bergen County NJ...Local towns are topping out at 80K as a regular patrolman, not including OT. The State police tops out at 75K...State Corrections tops out at about 57K after like 5 or 7 steps..They get paid fairly well in NJ..then again you have some counties that are about 20 minutes away that are topping out in the mid 50's... I am going to FL where the starting pay with a 4 year degree will be almost 34K..Top out in the low 50's..this is with no OT and other incentives...I did a lot of research before making a decision....But I definitely can not understand how people working within this profession are not one of the best paid for what is done day in and day out!!


              • #8
                A big problem, especially in the South, is that public sector employees often aren't allowed to bargain collectively. There is currently legislation in the House of Representatives that would correct that problem. My district's Rep, Ernie Fletcher, spoke at our FOP meeting a few weeks ago and said he supported it. Call your Congresspeople and let's get it done already.
                It is good to hate the French. -Al Bundy


                • #9
                  Under our old chief we had the same low pay problem. We also can't strike, but many found a better way ..... they quit and went to better paying departments.

                  When the newspaper started reporting on how much it was costing to recruit and train new people and how they usually left after a couple years to go to better paying jobs, the public started bitchin' and we got a pay raise.

                  Admin types only look at $$$$$$$$. Put it in their terms and things will change.

                  Our S.O. is about to go through this too. The county judge {in all his wisdom } decided the road deputies only needed 1/3 of what they asked for this year and has shafted them for the last 2 budget cycles. Now many of them have applied with other depts. I'm just waiting to see how this turns out.

                  I might be posting job announcements for Brazos County too!!!
                  "Trust me. I'm from the government, I'm here to help."


                  • #10
                    Cajuncop I'm from New Orleans so I know what you are going through. Our city council are lawyers and buisnessmen and sit on the council a few hours, collect their pay than return to there law firms. New Orleans main source of income is tourism and they could give a rats $ss what the police and fire department makes. The crime rate is getting really bad and the tourist walk around with these badges on from conventions. It's like hanging a sign on them ROB ME. The Dept has a slogan down here COME TO NEW ORLEANS, LEAVE DIFFERENT.IN A PINE BOX. The problem down here is the low pay and they can't recruit enough people to keep up with the old guys retiring. I'm retired and the experience in years that remains on the force is very low. Yet the council does nothing but tell the police chief sorry there is no money.
                    Stay safe and watch your back. Survived Katrina. Now a Official member of the Chocolate City Police.


                    • #11
                      My view on this topic (as an outsider) is that LEOs do not get paid well because they have a high degree of job satisfaction compared to other professions.

                      I mean LEOs like to be LEOs and there aren't many jobs where most of the workers can say: "I enjoy going to work"... at least most the times. Sure I believe there are bad days and days when you watch the clock but still you won't trade it for anything else right? Well that is the point here. They use this against you.

                      A real cop is a real cop, he won't be a civilian even if he has to work for close to nothing just like the guys in Louisiana and other parts. Because they all love their job.

                      The day when I will leave my desk for becoming a pilot for 20k/year as a starter, that day I will trade my financially promising future as an economist for job satisfaction. Later in about 7 years by the time my pilot career will start to become financially promising and I will become a citizen, then if I can, I will trade again my promising career as a pilot to become a LEO. Crazy? ... well NO. Because of job satisfaction, pursuing dreams, is worth $$ in my view. I think all you LEO guys here know what I am talking about.

                      My boss has a great saying:
                      "You need a good bed, a job you enjoy, and a wife you love... because these are the 3 things where you will spend 90% of your life."

                      Perhaps the above reasoning really does not mean that LEOs deserve what they get. They don't, and we haven’t even talked about the general negative view of the society (which can change in a split second if they have to dial 911) about LEOs and LE.

                      This was my worthless $0.02 as a non LEO. Feel free to correct me if I was off.



                      • #12
                        Yippie, I can chime in on this one! I work part time/volunteer. We are commisioned and have all the responsibilities of a full timer. I get, $6.50/hr, nobody has a take home car, except the chief. When I first started, we didn't have enough portable radios to go around, nobody gets a handgun issued, we have 3 department ones somewhere. Our office is in the back of our village hall, our "new" car is a 97 with 100k on it. Our full timers make close to $20k, and get a clothing allowance. If I can remember more junk I will edit the post!

                        Sorry I just had to put this in here:
                        Or you could go on the take!

                        [ 08-21-2001: Message edited by: PartTimer ]


                        • #13
                          You all should come to California, then. We are generally paid very well out here. My sheriff's dept. starts out at 50k and tops out at 70k, before overtime and the 13 paid holidays.

                          However, stand up for yourselves and demand a pay raise. 18k a year is not acceptable for any law enforcement job.


                          • #14
                            The trash truck drivers get paid more than the police officers do in my department. Thank God I'm doing this on a part time basis, just to get some experience so I can move on. I don't know how the full-timers survive on what they make. It's unbelievable. Not to mention that we have to supply EVERYTHING on our own right down to our nametags! I wish our elected officials (nationwide) would wake up and realize that they are not going to keep qualified people on their forces with the pay they are giving us.


                            • #15
                              My hometown police department in Wyoming is going threw the same thing. In the last two months, two officers have left the agency. One officer left to take a State park Ranger job for more money and less work and less political BS. The other officer, who is also the K9 handler, both the officer and dog when to better paying jobs with the Platte County S.O. The Department is down to six officers including the Chief. Officers are now working 10 hr shifts and performing call outs when not on duty to provide back up to the lone officer on duty. The Chief's plan is to stop 24hr service and have only 20hrs. of Patrol service and the remaining 4 hrs. will be covered by a "on call" officer. The none covered hours will rotate along with the "on call" officer(s). The Chief has even started working as "patrolman" for the weekday shifts.
                              There are two plans being talked about as far as wage increases. One is to take the base pay of one officer and divide it out among the remaining officers and staff. Plan Two, is to take the base pay of both officers and divide it out among the remaining officers, keep the current staff level and hire no new officers and work the 20 hour days, with 2/10hr shifts.
                              The Thermopolis, Wyo. Police Dept. is the second lowest paying agency in the State. Starting pay is $1635/mo. The average pay in Wyoming is $2130/mo. The last raise was an extra $0.25 (that's right .25 cents) an hour about three years ago. How's that for a slap in the face.


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