November 16, 2007  

Union boss: More cops leaving NYPD

By Joshua Rhett Miller

MANHATTAN. Forty-five experienced police officers recently resigned from the NYPD to join the neighboring Nassau County Police Department for higher pay, a police union president said Thursday.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said the former NYPD cops represent nearly half of the Nassau County police recruits in its current class. Top pay for NYPD police officers is $59,588, more than $30,000 less than their Nassau County counterparts, who make $92,432, according to Lynch.

“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 before they are eligible to collect a pension,” Lynch said. “In 1991, only 159 police officers resigned from the NYPD while 902 quit in 2006.”

A total of 820 NYPD officers have quit the department during the first 10 months of this year, or enough to staff more than five precinct houses, Lynch said. That figure is roughly 3 percent higher than in 2006, when 799 resigned during the same period. Lynch said it was unclear if the 45 police officers who recently resigned were included in the NYPD’s October resignation statistics.

“Police officer top pay in NYC is just not competing in this area,” Lynch said. “When a town with a lower median income and lower real property value like Elizabeth, N.J., can pay their police officers $15,000 a year more than NYC while Nassau County pays over $30,000 more, it should be no surprise that they will be siphoning off some of our best and brightest police officers. Not only does NYC lose experienced police officers, but the $100,000 per officer that NYC pays to recruit, investigate, screen medically and psychologically and train each officer is wasted. That money would be better spent keeping fully trained and experienced officers patrolling the streets of NYC.”

The 30,000-member PBA and the city are currently in binding arbitration before the state’s Public Employment Relations Board to settle the 2004-06 police contract.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne did not comment Thursday.