New York Daily News

July 11, 2002

160 Cops Break Ranks To Join PA

By MICHELE McPHEE and ALICE McQUILLAN
Daily News Staff Writers

The Police Department is losing 160 cops to the Port Authority force in what's being called the single largest defection in NYPD history.

The 160 city officers will resign by next week to join a new class of 192 PA recruits.

Police union officials characterized the exodus as a dangerous trend, which has accelerated since March when 72 cops resigned for the higher-paying PA job.

"This is absolutely horrendous for New York City and the NYPD," said Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association.

Lynch said the loss of experienced officers is "crucial at this time when we have a real threat from terrorism."

PBA officials repeated their demand for raises comparable to police forces in surrounding areas.

The union is awaiting a salary decision from a state arbitration board. Port Authority and city cops have nearly the same starting salaries, but after five years, a PA cop earns $70,344, compared with $51,978 at the NYPD.

Michael O'Looney, an NYPD spokesman, said only, "We wish them well."

PA spokesman Alan Hicks said his agency wasn't specifically recruiting NYPD veterans. The 160 city cops who are defecting had been on the PA applicant list since 1998, when they passed a written exam.