October 14, 2016 | 1:10am
By Shawn Cohen
|Photo: Paul Martinka|
Take this badge and shove it!
Nearly 600 of New York’s Finest nearing retirement age have RSVP’d for a pension seminar next week — four times the number who normally sign up by this point, organizers told The Post.
The Tuesday event for members of the officers, sergeants and detectives unions will be held at Antun’s in Queens Village and feature retirement advice from Joe Maccone, former commanding officer of the NYPD’s pension section.
The venue holds 700, and organizers fear they will be forced to turn some people away at the doors.
The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association said that typically about 150 cops RSVP in the week before the event, and the record number of reservations points to a looming exodus of veteran officers.
The union blames the increased interest in the retirement seminar on job dissatisfaction, including low pay and low morale.
The NYPD did have a spike in hiring from 1,593 to 2,418 between 1996 and 1997 — and cops can retire with full pensions after 20 years.
But PBA officials said RSVPs had never before surged like this — even when the event fell 20 years after a similar peak in hiring.
In a PBA poll conducted in March, the vast majority of cops found the city a more dangerous place since 2014, while 96 percent said relations between cops and the neighborhoods they patrol had gotten worse — a problem that new Commissioner James O’Neill is seeking to address with a new community policing program.
Meanwhile, 89 percent of cops polled said they would quit the NYPD if they were offered a higher-paying job in law enforcement, while 86 percent said they would not recommend the job to family members.
“Given that NYC police officers are the lowest-paid police officers in the metropolitan area, it’s no surprise that the number considering retirement is skyrocketing,” said PBA President Patrick Lynch.
“Nearly 90 percent of our members said they would leave for a better-paying job, which is backed up by this dramatic increase of officers who are considering retiring as soon as they become eligible.
“We cannot stand to lose more fully trained and highly experienced police officers in New York City, and it is critical for Mayor de Blasio to address this problem before it becomes an even greater risk to public safety,” Lynch said.
“It’s just not the same job it was 20 years ago,” said one officer who plans to attend the seminar. “A lot of guys don’t want to stay. They don’t want to be cops anymore.”
NYPD spokesman Peter Donald said the record enrollment for the pension seminar shows merely that more officers are practicing “prudent financial planning.”