January 6, 2004

Patrolmen’s Union Salary Concerns Are Writ Large

The New York City Police Department ranks 145th in salaries in the nation’s 200 top police forces, the city’s police union says.

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association kicked off its crusade to improve base salaries for the rank and file yesterday the unveiling of a giant 2,000-foot billboard.

The sign costs the union $75,000 for the one-month rental term.

In addition, the sign also shows in descending order the number of police departments nationwide who pay more than New York’s Finest. There is also an electronic ribbon that reads “NYC cops deserve better pay.”

The average base salary for New York police officers ranks 145th at $37,878 a year. Coming in first in salaries was Hayward Calif., where police officers earn an average base salary of $69,326 a year.

PBA President Patrick Lynch criticized the city’s salary policy: “New York City’s heroic police officers put their lives on the line every day patrolling one of the nation’s toughest beats,” he said. “That’s an insult and an outrage.”

The city has met with the PBA three times to hammer out a new contract since the last one expired in July 2002. A PBA spokesman said there had been no progress in negotiations.

The independent study; of the nation’s 200 police-force wage earners was conducted by, an independent that monitors police departments nationwide.