Eight-five percent of today's graduating Port Authority Police class — the first class hired to replace the hero Port Authority Police Officers who perished in the World Trade Center attacks — are fully-trained, former members of the NYPD who left for more appropriate pay levels, NYC PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said today.
"This is a Port Authority Police class born of tragedy and heroism so we must keep the memories of all who perished in our hearts," President Lynch said. "And while it is good for the Port Authority to hire well trained and highly experienced police officers and it's good that those former NYPD officers will now earn a decent, living wage, it is a terrible loss for the City of New York.
"As a life-long New Yorker, I am concerned that we are losing valuable and experienced police officers simply because New York's police wage levels are not competitive with surrounding community police departments. Last year, of the 3,776 members of the NYPD who left the department, approximately 835, a record number, left for better paying police jobs and that is very bad for the future of New York City. New
York needs safe streets in order for business to flourish during the recovery from the terrorist attacks of 9/11. It is a passion for policing that makes you become a cop, but it is fair treatment and a decent salary that allows you to support your family so you can remain one."
Since 1990, the salary level of NYPD officers has dropped far behind those of other departments in the metropolitan area. In 1990 the average hourly earnings of a police officer in 13 jurisdictions calculated over a 20-year period was $23.94 per hour. At that time NYC police officers earned $22.66 an hour, approximately 95% of the average. In 2000, the average hourly earnings over 20 years was $36.59 while NYC police officers earned $28.73, down to 79% of the average. The wages of NYPD officers fell in rank from #7 in 1990 to #10 of 13 jurisdictions. Ranked in order as of July 31, 2000 from highest compensated to lowest are: Suffolk, Nassau, Port Authority, Westchester, Yonkers, Jersey City, Newark, Elizabeth, NY State Troopers, New York City, Buffalo, Rochester and New Haven.
The NYC Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, frustrated by the lack of good faith negotiations by the City, won a yearlong court battle to declare an impasse in the bargaining placing the contract negotiations into the hands of the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) for impartial binding arbitration.
Seventy-two of a total of 84 police officers graduating in this Port Authority class were members of the NYPD. Two were sergeants and some police officers had as much as eight years of experience in the NYPD.