November 16, 2007

City Officers Are Leaving for Nassau County

Staff Reporter of the Sun

Half of Nassau County's new police academy class is made up of city police officers leaving the New York City Police Department for higher pay in the suburbs, a police union president said yesterday.

Of 99 recruits now training to become Nassau County police, 45 are NYPD officers, the union said yesterday.

The president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, Patrick Lynch, blamed low police salaries on the soaring number of police officers who quit the NYPD each year. In 1991, 159 officers quit, according to the union, compared to 902 in 2006.

"There seems to be a direct correlation between our salaries falling farther and farther behind other nearby police departments and the ever increasing numbers of fully trained and experienced NYC police officers quitting," Mr. Lynch said in a statement.

The police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, has said low salaries in New York City, particularly the starting pay of $25,100 for new police recruits, have also hurt recruitment.

Mr. Lynch has focused his criticism on discrepancies between top pay for police officers, which is about $59,000 in the city and about $90,000 in surrounding suburbs.

The PBA and Mayor Bloomberg have been locked in a battle over the union's contract, which is now in the hands of a state arbitrator. Both parties agreed to reduce the starting salary to $25,100 this year during the last round of negotiations.