I was disappointed to see that last week’s issue omitted a key development in our efforts to achieve fair pay for New York City police officers.
At the March 12 budget hearing of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, Police Commissioner James O’Neill was asked repeatedly by Council Members whether New York City police officers are adequately compensated, whether they should be paid a market rate and whether the current pension benefits are equitable for all officers. In total, at least seven members asked about pay disparity: Donovan Richards, Rory Lancman, Justin Brannan, Keith Powers, Chaim Deutsch, I. Daneek Miller and Paul Vallone.
Notably, Council Member Lancman made a compelling case that if the city looks at market rate for other positions, it should do the same for New York City Police Officers.
He pointed out that the Mayor and Press Secretary Phillips both acknowledged factoring in what other markets pay their schools chancellors to determine what New York should pay theirs. The Police Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner Vincent Grippo responded that they would like to see officers paid more.
The Council Members who raised these questions should be commended. Their commitment to examining this critical issue is evidence of the growing support within the Council to ensure Police Officers are paid a fair market wage and do not fall further behind in comparison to other Police Officers, even those like the MTA Police, Port Authority Police and State Troopers who patrol in our own backyards.
We look forward to working with the Council to push hard for fair compensation and equal pension benefits.
PATRICK J. LYNCH
NYC Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association