New York Daily News

Letter to the Editor

Cops in crisis

June 10, 2007—Manhattan: For years, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association has warned that the NYPD faced a severe recruiting and retention crisis. We issued press releases, took out full-page ads, even rented a Times Square billboard. A 2002 arbitration award agreed that the NYPD faced a staffing crisis. In 2003, the city claimed it "voluntarily" reduced the force by 3,500 in a post-9/11 world; no one but the PBA questioned that falsehood. The NYPD won a lower starting salary in the 2005 arbitration, and now the crisis threatens public safety. When the NYPD finally went before the City Council to raise the alarm, what did the mayor and the Daily News do? Blame the PBA. But New Yorkers won't be fooled. They notice the lack of police every day. NYPD top pay can't compete with that of other law enforcement jobs, and until the city pays a competitive salary, the NYPD will not be able to hire enough recruits or keep the experienced officers it has.

Patrick J. Lynch, PBA president