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NYC Police Officers to Albany:

Dear New York State Legistators:

We are New York City police officers, and we need your help. The NYPD's severe staffing shortage is jeopardizing the safety of the communities we serve.

The NYPD is almost 7,000 police officers short of our peak headcount. We are putting fewer and fewer police officers on the street — that means longer 911 response times and fewer patrols to protect our neighborhoods.

As a result, we are working extreme amounts of forced overtime. Many cops have left the NYPD due to the grueling workload, often for other police departments that offer better benefits, better pay and a better quality of life.

Our communities are asking for more police service, but there simply aren't enough cops to provide it. This situation is not sustainable. We need urgent help to keep cops on the job. In this year's state budget, we strongly urge you to consider the following proposals:

Incentivize experienced cops to keep working: Policing is a calling, and many cops would extend our careers if it made financial sense to do so. Offering better retirement benefits for cops who serve an additional five or ten years past our minimum retirement date would help curb attrition by keeping our most experienced officers — the ones who know our communities the best — on the beat.

Create a recruiting “pipeline” from other public safety titles: Many diverse, talented police officers have started their careers in other civil service titles such as NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agents, NYPD School Safety Agents, NYPD Cadets or members of the NYC Department of Corrections. Allowing those hired since 2009 to buy pension credits for this prior city service will encourage more to join the Finest.

Equalize the minimum service requirement with other NYS police officers: Many NYPD members who leave for other policing jobs are drawn away by superior retirement benefits. While most other cops in New York State can retire after 20 years on the job, NYPD officers hired since 2009 must serve 22 years to receive their pension. Equalizing the minimum service requirement will help the NYPD compete for the most talented police officers and recruits.

This year's budget is not only an opportunity to promote public safety for New York communities it's a chance to help overworked cops and our families. A fully staffed NYPD will make all New Yorkers safer.

New York City Police Officers