New York Daily News

August 22, 2008 


17% pay raise just the ticket for NYPD

BY CAT CONTIGUGLIA and JONATHAN LEMIRE
DAILY NEWS WRITERS

 A long overdue raise has finally helped NYPD cops shake their financial blues.

The surprising announcement of a 17% raise, which brings NYPD salaries more in line with other metro police departments, was met with joy by scores of cops Friday.

"It's the first time in my career that [my pay] is up to date," said Officer Jeanette DeLucia, a 15-year veteran working in the 13th Precinct in Gramercy.

"It makes it easier, especially with the way things are now with the economy."

The hike, announced late Thursday at City Hall, brought rookie pay to $41,975 and raised the maximum base pay to $76,488 by the end of the contract in 2010, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association said.

"Now my nephew wants to come on from the Marines," DeLucia said. "At first he was skeptical, but when I called him last night to tell him, he said, 'I could do this.'"

The raise was part of the second deal the city reached with cops in three months and the first time in more than a decade that they came to an agreement without a state arbitration panel.

"I had to move out from where I was to a smaller place," said one cop from the Midtown North Precinct who asked not to be identified. "I love [the raise]. I can't wait to see it."

The previous contract raised rookie pay from $25,100 - which dramatically hindered recruitment - to $35,881. Cadets at the police academy said they think the new wages will attract better candidates.

"It's going to attract more educated people," cadet Jose Ocasio said. "There's going to be a higher standard because of the pay."

"There are a lot of officers here that are struggling to get by," said cadet Cecilio Ramos. "So it's very beneficial."

Though the maximum NYPD base pay still lags behind the area's suburban police departments, the gap has closed. The top pay in Nassau County is $92,432, $97,958 in Suffolk County and $80,366 in Westchester County.

"It was a struggle, but now I think we're getting what we deserve," said Officer Brett Topping of the 13th Precinct. "I was going to stick around anyway, but it's just nice to be paid more."

jlemire@nydailynews.com