City Council Members Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Midwood) and Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach) were among several city council members voicing concern that a record number of NYPD officers have registered pension seminar tomorrow night.
According to the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) more than 1,200 registered for the seminar citing a sharp pay gap with other police forces around the country – along with sinking morale caused by a lack of support – as the chief reasons for exploring their retirement options.
A survey of PBA members showed that 92% believe the support for police officers has decreased under Mayor de Blasio, while 89% said they’d leave for a better paying job.
In another troubling trend, the number of police officers leaving the NYPD without receiving a pension reached a six-year high in 2017, with 517 resigning in comparison with the 169 who quit in 2011. This wave of resignations has included top NYPD Police Academy graduates, including the valedictorian of one recent Academy class who left for another local police job paying 43% more.
“New York City police officers are tasked with a difficult and dangerous job. We need to do more than just thank them for their service. We must provide them with fair pay and benefits so that we don’t lose them to other departments or other cities. The cost of living in New York City is rising, but our police officers aren’t seeing that reflected in their paychecks,” said Deutsch.
“The city is spending millions of dollars to train officers, and then just a couple of years later, we’re losing some of our best to cities with better pay and benefits. We must make this city an appealing place for officers to work, so that we can continue to keep crime rates down and ensure our communities are a safe place to raise our families,” added Deutsch.
Brannan said losing a thousand of the city’s most experienced police officers would negatively impact his community and communities across the city.
“As Council Members, we must work together to make sure these officers are not leaving because of pay inequity or lack of support, and that if they want to stay on the job and keep our city safe, they have the ability to do so,” said Brannan.
A pension seminar held in late 2016 attracted 850 police officers, with subsequent seminars reaching similarly high attendance.
“The signs are all there: the lowest pay, survey numbers that demonstrate officer dissatisfaction, a serious increase in resignations without a pension and the highest number of registrations for our latest pension seminar. It’s a formula for losing our best, brightest and most experienced police officers, and that’s a problem for the whole city. But it’s a problem that would easily be solved by paying our police officers a market rate of pay,” said PBA president Patrick J. Lynch.