2007-05-30 / Features

114th Precinct Cop Ranks Keep Shrinking


114th Precinct Community Council President Ann Bruno 114th Precinct Community Council President Ann Bruno The number of police officers in the 114th Precinct continues to fluctuate and is now down to 180. "We used to have 320 police officers in the 114th," said 114th Precinct Community Council President Ann Bruno.

"They give us cops when they graduate," said Bruno at the May council meeting. "We just lost two more this past week. I would love to have them give us cops and leave them there."

As negotiations between the city and the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (PBA) drag on (they have been going on for almost a year now), the issue of pay was raised by a resident. "Pay them," she said. "Who's going to work for $25,000 a year?"

A front page article in the New York Times on the day of the community council meeting (May 22) reported that more than 28,000 people have registered to take the Suffolk County police test on June 9. Nassau County is giving its police test in August. It is also expected to attract 20,000 or more takers.

Among those test takers are sure to be some NYPD officers. Starting salary in Suffolk County is $57,811 and $34,000 in Nassau County, compared with $25,100 in New York City. After five years, Suffolk County pays its police $97,958. Nassau County pays $91,737 after seven years. NYPD pays $32,700 after six months and the salary tops off at $59,588 after five years.

Paul J. Browne, deputy NYPD commissioner for public information, said while the city does not keep track of where police officers go, money was the second biggest reason for resignations after poor performance at the academy.

During the first four months of this year, 359 police officers have resigned citywide, on track to surpass the 900 that resigned in 2006. The NYPD loses 2,300 officers each year on average to retirement as well.

"We are very undermanned in our precinct," said Bruno. "They [NYPD] tell me crime is down in our area. This is why you don't see a cop walking around on your block."

Recruitment has admittedly been affected by the pay issue. Current efforts are far below targeted goals and as a result, the NYPD does not have its full complement of 38,000 police officers.

Rafael Pineiro, chief of personnel for NYPD, has said the city was only able to recruit fewer than 800 people for the next Police Academy training class that is to begin on July 8. In a May 24 New York Times report, Pineiro said that enrollment would be only one-third of the 2,400 class size NYPD wanted.

In addition, Pineiro said, unless the pay issue is resolved, he expects the January class of newPolice Academy recruits to be even smaller.

The filing period for the next NYPD exam began on May 16 and will run through September 15 for the October 27 test. Filing an application for the exam is free. For more information call 212- RECRUIT or 800-550-3836 or visit any police precinct or library for an application.

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