Monday, October 27, 2008

Cops and Robbers

In today's SJ Merc (October 27, 2007, page 2B), John Woolfolk talks about police officer pay in San Jose:

Basic pay for a San Jose officer is now $108,167, excluding overtime; with benefits, the total cost comes to $147,614.

Note that the basic salary excludes overtime pay, which can be substantial. The SJ Police Department is now asking for a 4% raise. Each 1% in raises costs San Jose taxpayers 1.9 million dollars each year. If the city is inclined to grant any raise, it should be in the form of a higher salary, which can be more easily tracked than benefits. The costs of increased benefits, such as pensions, are almost impossible to determine until they become due.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The salary you quoted is the top step for a police officer. According to a recent ad, the starting salary is about $70,000.

Now, for some $70,000 may be a lot of money. However, I think you need to consider the following. Everyday, police officers put their lives on the line.

Think about the police officer who goes on a domestic violence call. I have a friend who is a San Jose police officer. He's told me that those calls are very scary. You never know what is going to happen.

Also, it's no accident that San Jose rates as the third safest large city in our nation. With quality wages and benefits, we are able to recruit a quality workforce.

If we paid less money and lowered benefits, San Jose would not be able to recruit the same caliber of candidates. Highly qualified candidates would seek employment elsewhere.

The quality of services would go down. And this would adversely affect the community.

That's why I fully support a quality contract for the quality services that San Jose police officers provide.