New York Post
December 1, 2002

NYPD APPEALS TO A HIRE POWER IN $PLURGE DEFENSE

By DAVID SEIFMAN and STEPHANIE GASKELL

The NYPD yesterday defended its decision to hire a recruiter - at a cost of up to $20 million - because the department expects to hire between 10,000 and 13,000 new officers over the next five years to deal with attrition, according to spokesman Michael O'Looney.

Under the city's emergency budget plan, the Police Department will delay hiring 1,900 recruits in a plan to trim the size of the force from 40,710 to 37,210 this year.

But in coming years, the NYPD will still have to fill vacancies created by such factors as retirement.

The Post reported yesterday that the NYPD is looking to spend up to $20 million over the next five years to hire a consultant to help the department recruit people to fill the ranks.

A contract with international headhunting firm Bernard Hodes Group Inc. is set to begin March 1.

One official said the plan was drawn up 10 months ago - long before the city's serious budget woes became a reality. "Nothing's written in stone," the official said.

Still, the plan has some officials up in arms.

"Even if the city was rolling in dough, spending $20 million to recruit police officers is a dumb idea," said Pat Lynch, head of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association.

"The solution is simple," he said. "Increase the salary of the cops and you'll have tens of thousands of young people clamoring to become New York's Finest."

"It used to be that the police officer was the best recruiter for this job. That's not the case today," said John Giangrasso, a PBA board member. "No one recommends their relatives to go on the job. And that's sad."

One city councilman - a former NYPD officer - called the plan "outrageous."

"I hope it's a bad rumor," said James Davis (D-Brooklyn). "Who would be foolish enough to spend $20 million on recruiting when the city's in a serious budget crisis? It's ridiculous."

Since 1986, turnout for the NYPD police officer exam has averaged 66 percent of those who apply. But only 26 percent showed up for the exam held in the fall.

Additional reporting by Larry Celona