WALT SPECHT: We cannot afford bargain-rate law enforcement

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Law enforcement officers are critical personnel who deserve a livable wage

Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

Bargain-basement law enforcement. That is what we rely on around here.

We force officers to seek other employment to make ends meet by not paying them a decent living wage. A New York state trooper starts out at $50,000 per year. A New Jersey trooper is at $120,000 a year after making grade. Last ad I saw for a New York City patrolman, it was $120,000 a year after five, retirement in 20 at half-pay, full medical, unlimited sick days and enough vacation to relax.

Now, I know I am comparing apples to oranges, or am I really? I don’t believe the people our law enforcement officers deal with are any less dangerous, or deranged, than those in these northern areas.

Why not pay our enforcers at least as much as we pay our teachers? After all, they get to meet a lot of the students these teachers have dealt with. Plus, we might attract a more educated, in-shape enforcement officer by creating competition for the job instead of settling for what we pay for.

Now many of our officers are good, honest, hardworking individuals. They deserve better than what we try to hand them as a living wage. Remember, in many instances, you get exactly what you are willing to pay for. We lose good officers all the time to higher pay and less risk.

Think about it. Would you do their job for what we pay them? Don’t even get me started on prison guards, they really have to deal with many dregs of society, and very few folks that actually are trying to make themselves better. We need to pay them more than the currently get.

I know we supposedly don’t have the money, but just think — if they all quit, where the heck would you be?