The Chief
September 6, 2002

Letters to the Editor

Cops Have Right to Sing Blues

To the Editor:

I find it fascinating that Richard Steier believes cops have no legitimate complaint about working 10 extra days a year because Teachers are being asked to work an extra 20 minutes a day. He argues that for Teachers, the value of the extra minutes is qualitative, but for cops, the value of the extra days is quantitative. (The Chief, Aug. 30 issue, Mr. Steier’s response to Kenneth Sohmer’s letter to the editor.)

Apparently, New York City police officers are becoming victims of their own success. Since cops have done such an excellent job in reducing crime and improving the quality of life in New York City since the early 1990’s, the city cannot reasonably demand qualitative improvements from them. The only thing the city can reasonably demand (according to Mr. Steier’s reasoning) is quantitative “givebacks.”

Let’s follow this strategy to its conclusion: If the city demands 10 extra workdays per year for every two-year contract, in about 20 years, cops will be working every day of the year (albeit shorter workdays). If they receive between 5 percent and 7 percent pay raises every year for those 20 years, considering the rising costs of housing, schools, etc., they will still be making less money (in value) than they made in 1990! Who knew?