Some of this is funny…most of it, if accurate, is outrageous. While some of the latter is verifiable, it is difficult to sort out just how much is simply sour grapes and whining because 40 miles to the East, Suffolk Country MOS have a huge contract. New York Police Department cannot get enough applicants to give a test for Police officers 88% of Port Authority Police Department Academy graduates are from New York Police Department cops, 50% of a new class of NYFD class are from New York Police Department. (Lung Worthy et al, 1986).
The New York City Police (NYPD) has over the last years been known to be the largest municipal police force in the world with a vital primary responsibility to enforce the law and carry out investigations within the five boroughs of the New York City, which include Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester etc. (Fred. M. Rafilson, 2000).
NYPD is dedicated to work towards enhancing the quality of life in the city by working in accordance to the constitution. This is achieved through its mission statement, which is “Enforce the law, preserve the peace, reduce fear and provide for a safe environment”. (Fred. M. Rafilson, 2000). This in result entails to preventing fear and responding to crime.
In the United States, NYPD is considered as being the first modern style police department being an array of specialized services. It is contracted and dedicated to offering expertise in technical operations, K-9, diving or marine skills, aviation or helicopter skills, bomb disposal technology, counterterrorism technology, intelligence skills, antigang techniques, narcotics detection, public transportation, control and public housing. The NYPD has extensive crime scene investigations and laboratory resources while not also overlooking their units, which assist with computer crime investigations. (Fred. M. Rafilson, 2000)
Recruitment Requirements for NYPD
To pace afoot into the NYPD academy, the following requirements are a prerequisite: one must be an United States citizen at the time of application; one must possess a valid high school diploma or an educational equivalent; one must have successfully completed either sixty (60) college credits from a credible college or a university with at least 2.0 GPA or two (2) years full time United States Military Service. (Reaves, Brian A., 1996).
However, one could achieve the above qualifications yet be disqualified for admission because of the following factors: – One may have been convicted of an offence, which indicates lack of good moral character, or disposition towards violence or disorder or which is punishable by one or more years of imprisonment; one may have undergone repeated convictions of an offence, which indicates disrespect of the law; one may have been discharged from an employment as a result of poor behavior or inability to adjust to discipline; one may have been discharged in a dishonorable manner from the military service; one may have been convicted of an offence for domestic violence misdemeanor; and lastly, one may have been convicted for committing a felony. (Lung Worthy et al, 1986).
A Practical Situation
Despite all these requirements and all the theoretical expectations from these special, well-trained and skilled cops a great problem looms in their working circumstances. For any person to work there is always expectations of commensurate benefits from the field of occupation necessary for the daily upkeep of the individual and dependants. The standard of life should also have a direct relationship with the rightful inputs of an individual to the workplace. Future progress should also be projected by the current occupation performance and renumeration. Other workplace related benefits are also very crucial determinants of an employee wellbeing and welfare. All these issues if not properly addressed, will lead to decreased morale, decreased output and poor performance and ultimately high degree of employees’ dropout leading to high turnovers.
This is the critical condition facing the NYPD. In 2005, there was a state arbitration and a panel of judges’ decree covering a contract negotiation between NYPD representatives and state representatives, which came up with a pay decrease for new officers. The new outcomes have been discussed here: – On admission, a new hire during training is supposed to earn $25,100 per year. This continues for the next six (6) months. On the completion of the Police Academy, the respective individual becomes entitled to an annual salary increase up to $32,700. To explain this, the state argues that the salaries were adjusted as a result of inflation. In practice these figures are far much low below the living standards of an employed person and they happen to be the lowest pay levels in history for rookie NYPD cops.
This was a wrong decision by the jurisdiction of lowering the starting pay for new officers at such a time that the officers are most impressionable and this act seems particularly unwise to majority of the people. The salary plunge is blamed on state arbitrator and is seen as a bad public policy to reduce the starting salary. The union officers argued that the city first suggested lower starting salaries to fund the pay raises and arbitration was taken to because the city refused to negotiate across the table. The conventional wisdom when applied tends to purport an inverse relationship between salary and corruption as witnessed in the jurisdiction such as New Orleans. (Fred. M. Rafilson, 2000).
The issue at hand is very crucial towards motivation of workers. A person of proper orientation cannot even dream or think about joining this career, which is devoid of motivation considering that there exists a high degree of risk in this profession. The situation is further compounded by the fact that out of the meangle pays, the respective officer is expected to purchase virtually all of their belongings and personal items. The items include officers’ uniforms and equipment, which one would expect to get from the Academy or employer. Some issues of quality items in this respect it is worth mentioning.
Due to the fact of fluctuated pay anybody is highly tempted to go for the least expensive item and it is common sense that least expensive is least quality. The practice of officers buying uniforms and equipment for themselves has an outlay that can easily run into thousands of dollars. As a solution, the Municipal Union in 2007 through the Municipal Credit Union began issuing visa credit cards to the Police Academy as a way to borrow the money needed towards the mandatory equipment purchases.
Top pay for experienced officers is no better compared with pay of other potential employers. The recommended top pay for an experienced NYPD officer is $59,588 not including overtime payments and other forms of compensation. The major contributor to these problems is the municipal funding agents, which although it has continually funded other city project. The new basketball arena in Brooklyn got an approximate 8.3 acres land, which although it was a part of a forest the administration asserts that this is no land grabbing. For the sake of its development it got a further $100 million. (Kleining John, 1996). The Second Avenue Train line got the full funding agreement with a massive $2.5 bond issues and its work expected to follow within weeks to months. (Kleining John, 1996).
The Mayor’s Green Plan is raising quite substantial amount whereby drivers are levied for entering Manhattan at rates of $8 for personal vehicles and $21 for truck operators. Major tugs of war have been evidently available as is the case of the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), which urged the council members to provide the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) with adequate funding and to hold it accountable for recent lapses in its performance. NYCLU decried to Mayor Bloomberg’s proposals to cut CCRB funding by $1.2 million eliminating twenty four investigator positions and urged the city council to restore the CCRB’s funding to demand cooperation from NYPD and other agencies involved in the civilian review process.
The NYCLU was actively instrumental in the creation of the independent CCRB in the year 2002, and has been an outspoken advocate for a vigorous and independent civilian review system. As part of this effort, the NYCLU has fought CCRB budget cuts year after year and has been highly critical of NYPD efforts to undermine the CCRB’s work. (Kleining John, 1996). Whereas the policy makers and implementers argue that they are in favor of keeping tabs on the people suspected of unlawful activities, they argue that the police should not be scrutinizing law abiding New Yorkers’ activities without regulations.
Low pay is driving more and more New York’s finest to leave the job despite ranks being bolstered. Especially in 2005 and 2006, 1,769 officers were reported to quit job before their retirement eligibility. (Kleining John, 1996). The numbers have had a real impact on the streets and city hall does not have the courage to solve the problem.
Difficulties Compounding Police Force Issue
Some extremely difficult times were experienced in the city brought about by the economic downturn of the 1970. An arson attack particularly plagued Bronx leading to permeability of an atmosphere of lawlessness in the city. In addition, the city’s financial crisis led to a hiring freeze on all city departments including the NYPD from 1976 to 1980. (Eli B. Silverman, 1990). A crack epidemic of late 1980s and early 1990s followed in suit the arson attack, which is believed most certainly led to the city’s homicide rate to soar to an all time higher. A marvelous record of murder, so great that it has yet remained difficult to break in any other US major city, was recorded in 1990. (Eli B. Silverman, 1990).
The situation was further complicated by continuous thefts associated with drug addiction increasing became common. Furthermore, on September 11, 2001, twenty-three NYPD officers were killed when the World Trade Centre collapsed due to terrorist attack. More lives were lost that year than any other year in the NYPD’s history. (Eli B. Silverman, 1990).
All through history, the NYPD has suffered from numerous allegations of corruption. However, as the many commissions of inquiry convened to inquire about these alleged matters, the results have shown these instances of corruption reflect far greater on the individual’s involved rather than do on a systemic form of corruption. As a matter of fact, the instances of corruption when compared through statistics to the sheer number of the departments as a whole, the NYPD actually has a lower corruption rate than many other departments. Most commissions on corruption blame low morale and chronically low salary as the large contributing factor. As things sour up to such heights it remains questionable as to the destiny and way out for these unlucky officers. Information permeability is in place of existing training and working condition in other departments of equal capacity as the NYPD.
Situation Outside NYPD
It is crystal clear that in nearby departments’ payments is considerably more ranging from $50,000 for new hires and over $90,000 for experienced officers. Over the last few years hundreds of NYPD city officers have been found to leave for higher paying jobs with other agencies notably the Nassau County Police Department, the Suffolk County Police Department and the Port Authority Police of New York and New Jersey. (Bratton et al, 1998). Discontent over pay issues has become so widespread and so well known that higher paying departments in the lower cost of living areas such as the Rochester New York Police are actively recruiting NYPD officers to join their forces. Large numbers of NYPD officers have also migrated to the New York City Fire Departments where, although the payments are similar to that of NYPD, work schedules are more attractive and they are privileged to have a more amicable relationship with the public. (Bratton et al, 1998).
However, the NYPD is not comfortable with the exodus taken by their trained employees. Resources have been used for the training and therefore the exodus is a big loss to NYPD. Employees’ turnover is also a bad influence facing NYPD as a result of this exodus. Therefore, to counteract the exodus, the NYPD is using contract changes to forbid the prior practice of allowing police officers who join the fire department to transfer their seniority for a compensation purposes. With all new firefighters now compelled to begin working at the same starting pay, the number of NYPD officials willing to exit over to the FDNY is likely to fall considerably. (Bratton et al, 1998).
Some NYPD officers charge that the department leadership is seeking to stem the flow of officers to other jurisdictions by administrative means. In January 2006, 35 NYPD officers seeking to move to the Port Authority Police sued the NYPD claiming that it was refusing to make their personal records available to Ports Authority Police Department (PAPD) background investigators. The plaintiffs won the injunction at the trial level but the appellate division in January 2007 overturned that ruling and ordered that case to trial. (James T. Hamilton, 2000). For its part, the NYPD claims that its actions are merely in line with the personnel practices of any other employers and that there is no “stealth” effort to prevent officers from moving elsewhere.
Nonetheless, it is a fact that no NYPD officers have been included in the last PAPD Police Academy as a result of the deliberate confinement of their background records by their employer NYPD. Despite these obstacles, there are signs that the exodus from the NYPD may become accelerating. In 2006, 902 officers resigned before eligibility for retirement. The number had been 867 in the previous year (2005) and 635 in the other previous year (2004), which contributes for an attrition rate of around 2%. (James T. Hamilton, 2000).
While the Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly insists that the figures compares positively with the turnover rates in private industry, police union officials note that the proper comparison should be with prior years on the NYPD records in past years. For example, in 1991 only 15% officers left early thus recording an attrition rate of less than one half of one percent. (James T. Hamilton, 2000).
The unfair state in NYPD has impacted negative picture of the Academy. Recruits and skilled officers are expected to take care of their transport costs. They are also supposed to cater for costs of their duty belts, handcuffs, flashlights etc. whenever they wear out. The cost of maintaining fresh supplies has been uncatered for by the Academy. The supervisors treat recruits and officers like children and the harsh manner of the supervisors create disrespect in the Academy. Recruits are taken for field experience and during the occasion they are given up to supervisory jobs. Due to the frequent turnover some identified officers and recruits are forced to act on supervisory capacity without an extra pay.
At the end of it all participation in unions is crippled due to crippled financial status. They are also incapacitated to play meaningful roles in the society and their background society issues are very poor.
The potential recruit of NYPD should expect to earn the lowest pay while working in the most dangerous environment in the tri-state area and should also expect picayune disciplinary action with a trial room having nearly 100% conviction rate. Dozens of civilian complaints from criminals and then complaints are investigated by cop hating, democratic club hacks. The recruit should also expect to be a great “white defendant” seeking publicity, grand-standing district attorney have their life ruined when they make a good faith mistake they become financially destroyed plus their families by paying huge money in legal fees. The cop expects the boss ever behind while executing duties, any civilian complaint with a controversial case falls on the cops shoulders.
The supervisors of the cops are ready to protect politicians at the expense of their junior cops. The members of the department above the rank of lieutenant are ready to earn promotion through suppression of their juniors. The NYPD cop members are the most demoralized army group. They give protection to millions of liberal, unappreciative citizens and democratic officers who hate them. The cops are also vilified by phony ministers who command huge sums of government poverty money to aid and assist crime. The cops transcend through six months of training then in disquiets join other police departments leaving their leaders searching for reasons of the exodus. As senior members of NYPD shift to other departments, such as Suffolk County Cop, a vacancy opening leaves a promotion slot quickly.
The result of poor funding in NYPD is a poor social economic structure. This leads to exit and exodus of those who enter NYPD Academy leading to brain drain and employee turnover. The lack of funding has created a huge salary disparity between NYPD and other same category departments. Any well-qualified person fears any indulgence with NYPD. Although their entry requirements are well outlines, a number of recruits gain entry into the Academy without the possession of valid driving licenses, relevant credentials possibility of suffering some disqualifications creates problems of retention of probationary employees since discontent and lack of motivation is the cause of exodus to a better place.
Bratton, William J. & Knobler Peter (1998) Turnaround: How American Top Cops Reversed the Crime Epidemic. New York: Random House.
Eli B. Silverman (1990) NYPD Battles Crime: Innovative Strategies in Policing. North Eastern University Press. ISBN-13:978-15555340011.
Fred. M. Rafilson (2000) Police Officer Arco; 13th Ed. ISBN-13:978-0028637419.
James T. Hamilton (2000) Channeling Violence. Princeton University Press. New Ed. ISBN-13:978-0691070247.
Kleining John (1996) The Ethics of Policing. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Lung Worthy, Robert H. (1986) The Structure of Police Organizations. New York. Praeger.
Reaves, Brian A. (1996) Local Police Departments. Diane Pub Co. ISBN-13:978-0788130076.