Tough budget times put spotlight on police salaries
Half of the municipal police officers in Sussex County earned six figures for a year's work, according to recent payroll records.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at New Jersey Herald.
#1 Aug 1, 2010
Police work in Vernon or any other sleepy suburb, does not warrant such high salaries...I find it rather insulting that a combat soldier, facing daily threat by the enemy, can earn something like $3k-$4k per month, and our police make what they make...the idea that we pay subruban police as much as we do, is just silly...they are average intelligence folks doing an average job, whom deserve no more than the average income of the citizen of that town...they do not deserve some level of elite pay...this is symbolic of what is wrong with our system...public servants getting better pay and benefits than the average citizen of that town is very alarming to me, and should be to all who pay taxes in that town. The pay should be fair and commensurate with the overall skill level and risk involved...sorry, things just don't add up in the case of Vernon or any other such town.
Since: Apr 10
#2 Aug 2, 2010
This post is actually funny. You are demonizing police officers who keep you safe for making too much money. In a world where Elementary School superintendants are making in excess of $200,000.00 per year, you think the problem is the police? People like you are what is wrong with New Jersey.
#3 Aug 2, 2010
Yo Pepp where you been I miss your words of wisdom.
Once again YOU ARE 100% Correct and well said.
Thanks and do not stay away so long!
#4 Aug 2, 2010
Actually, it's attitudes like yours that have made life in NJ exceedingly expensive...to pay our police force in most suburbs a dis-proportionate amount relative to the average income of the municipal resident makes no sense, and is quite unfair to the tax payer. It's a fairness and tax burden issue...not demonizing our men in blue...have mnay friends who are employed as police, where police work is much more challenging, such as NYC and Patterson, who agree with my viewpoint. There are many other public servants, such as you mention in education and other areas, that need to be addressed. Most tax payers I speak to, from many different towns and counties, are tired of footing the bill for the big salaries and pensions of police, educational administrators, and the like...tax payers are waking up and Gov Christie is hearing them...he's onto the education system and addressing the issues there...next are folks like the police and others.
#5 Aug 3, 2010
Police pay is driven by economic demographics of the region served and has nothing to do with how many episodes of America's Most Wanted are filmed in their communities. The responsibility and liability of the dynamic nature of police work is why they are compensated at the salary they receive today. The volatile nature of the work and profound life decisions they are called to make almost daily is another reason. A NJ Supreme Court justice recently stated that police today have to be law professors as well as officers. However, he said the police do it while walking in a metaphorical 'hire-wire act' where the slightest miscalculation leaves a big mess, not just a poor grade.
#6 Aug 3, 2010
Remember one thing JAC police in this area is MUCH MORE CHALLRNGING the in NYC and Patterson. You dont see those cops responding to medical calls they have PAID EMS. The cops here one min are taking your barking dog complaint and the next min they have to be DR. POLICE OFFICER. I too know police officers in both the city and small towns. I dont care how much $$$$ i have to pay. They dont get paid enough for doing the job they do. THEY ARE NOT AVERAGE PEOPLE AND THEY DO NOT DO AN AVERAGE JOB.
#7 Aug 4, 2010
JAG & Lawaid...thank you for your reasonable responses...As I draw on the knowledge of the general lack of equity between subruban police compensation(pay and pension) versus the average resident of that town...the poor compensation for the average foot soldier engaged in war zones in the mid east, who deal with stresses and activities well beyond that of the suburban police officer...the fact that most of the suburban towns have volunteer EMS and Fire functions who deal with very heavy stuff week in & week out w/o any pay and barely a thanks from the residents...hear the frustration from many tax payers from many towns over municpal compensation, especially the police...hear from police, town council members, and residents of the strong arm tactics used by the police leadership and unions in forcing us to accept the current situation and convincing us how necessary it all is, I'm left shaking my head. I served my country and have many friends & family who have served in this current war, in battle, and so I understand what sacrifice is all about...I know many EMS and Firefighters (all volunteer) who also sacrifice...the subruban police rationalizations provided, although very lucid and respectful, just don't add up.
#8 Aug 4, 2010
The problem is not with the police. It's with the idiot's who try to get everything they can for them
and the idiot politician or arbitrator who agrees
with them. Yes, a lot of cops make pretty darn good money, because they were allowed too. The
municipality's have to set new rules as to starting salary and top pay. it is a good time for this because many are out of work and need to put
food on the table. there are a lot of good people
who could do the job.
Another problem is where i live, caldwell nj,
we have 5 or 6 towns that are very capable of making up one police force, but the unions won't
go for it, because they will lose there head counts, not because nothing else will change, everything would still be the same. we do not all
need a captain, lietuneant,whatever else there is for 5 or six towns. we really just need one. But the unions won't allow it. Take the retiring higher ups and just dont replace them. sure many would be upset within the force, but the taxpayers
would be happy cause your tax's should go down.
Another thing I don't understand, all this road work and utility work, with all these cops sitting
in there nice cars with a/c running reading the paper. wouldn't be cheaper to hire a security firm.
I can only imagine how much money this is generating for the unions. Anyway, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
#9 Aug 5, 2010
joecitizen...you are right, and I'm sorry if I come off blaming the police for that...I guess that's the face we see, so it's the association I make. Many of the points you make are right on, and because I have reasonable and agreeable chats with police about this very subject, lends itself to the fact that they realize, but are simply doing a job that our local and state governments have come to over compensate for through union greed and the rest. Things do need to change, however, because it has become quite unfair to the average resident, when they're $40k..$50k..$60k median salaries w/ no pension other than 401k, is eclipsed by a factor of 2 or more + guaranteed pensions to, in the end, public servants, working for them...really just silly. This of course spreads on to other municpal and state jobs...the average public sector employee now makes more than the average private sector employee...and this, while at the same time, keeping their guaranteed pensions. The basis of the pensions was because the public sector jobs paid much less decades ago...now, with salaries shifting in the other direction, toward the public employee, the pensions need to be reduced or go away in favor of 401k's...there is no way a public employee should be better compensated than the average fella who pays into their compensation package inclusive of pensions.
#10 Aug 5, 2010
Post #2 by Pepperoni21 wrote "demonizing police officers who keep you safe" Safe from what? A black bear. I know we have crime but the salaries these officers make is way to high for Sussex County. I would rather have the State Police patrol my town. I also love when the local police pull over the people in town who pay taxes for their salaries.
O.K. fine pull me over give me a warining and give someone who does not live in your town a ticket. That is what should happen. Also some of the small towns have 2 officers on patrol at the same time. Why? 2 square miles and 2 officers? come one this is the biggest joke. And then when something does happen you get the police from like 2 or 3 towns away all helping out. Give me the State Police any day.
#11 Aug 5, 2010
I don't even have to read the past posts. I have no education to speak of and I'm older than all of you... If you pay someone from the "get go" to guard your life, you should hope they would jump in front of the bus for anyone, whether it be a boring call or if it's life threatening, if not for the pay but for the badge they wear. however...... sort of like how kids today don't appreciate things the way we old folks do, getting a swingset before they can walk? That swingset isn't appreciated. It just was there from before they remember. No appreciation. Actually, it's more sick to think that these officers aspired to be there because of and only because of the pay. But it is just as it is and Jesus who isn't lazy if they can't be? Who would go out of the way to actually "work" when they could get paid good money to just do a mediocre job? Jesus, wake up and smell the coffee... this has been going on for fricken ever. Brewing long before you fit your damn britches. Where the heck have you all been? This is why they get paid so much... and by the way look at the pay of our other "township offices"..... If you are really sick and pissed do something about it. Run for office... Stirr the coffe or shit soup.... stop moaning and just do something. I am waay to old now. Sorry I failed you.
#12 Aug 6, 2010
LOLOL...you've failed no body...the system has failed us. It's up to us to address the system, and not be intimidated by uniforms, unions, councils, etc.. In the end, they all work for us...not the other way around.
#13 Aug 8, 2010
I have many friends who are police officers and let me tell you they deserve what they are paid.
Pull you over? That's just what you see. They also are the first to walk into a dangerous situation that you wouldn't.
People who do not like police usually are breaking the law and not very good at it because they have been caught.
Police a regular people outside of work with families houses and bills but at work they are put in danger every car they pull over every accident is a threat.
Their not there to ruin your day they are there to keep you safe and keep peace in your sleepy town.
#14 Aug 9, 2010
I have already made my story known to the Governor of NJ, the districts Congressman, Federal agencies, news media, and many others.
The Cablevision contract to run about 5 miles of 432 count fiber optic cable in a very affluent conservative neighborhood in Bergen County. This neighborhood has homes that are valued at anywhere between $1-30 million.
2 sub-contractors got the job to complete the 5 miles of cable.
After about a week we learned why we were being paid so little by the main contractor; he has to pay the police to direct traffic there at $600 per officer per day, multiply that by 3 officers per day.
In 2 weeks the police and township will have made $18,000.
The 2 crews of sub-contractors doing the work will split $10,000 and have used many more resources.
Never mind that the sub-contractors could have hired flaggers to direct traffic (people who *don't* have a job already) at $100 day or better if the overhead wasn't taken by the township instead.
Do you agree with this type of local government business practice?
I'm quite sure that police officers there have a starting wage of $80k+ and don't don't need the extra money nearly as much as people completely out of work.
So what this amounts to is protection money with hired guns making sure it's paid.
Sounds like security forces in Afghanistan protecting everything from attack, but no, it's also here in the US even though there's little evidence things like that are attacked here while they're being produced.
Obviously all the parties involved in making this contract are conservatives.
The Cablevision contractor should have told the Saddle River local government that their demands were unreasonable and not agree to install the cables at that time.
My particular issue may not be a big deal or about a lot of money, but it's indicative of a much larger problem.
The problem of conservative paranoid politicians re-allocating huge sums of moneys and people towards defense and security of questionable if not dubious intentions ...which of course by it's very nature none of which manufacture/produce anything of value for the vast majority of people....and is in itself a drag on common folk with increased ticketing, fines and yes, taxes to sustain it.
#15 Aug 9, 2010
hey Cindy, would your police officer friends tell you they are making too much. I have never EVER heard anyone say they make too much. They should not be making a big paycheck for keeping a SLEEPY LITTLE TOWN safe. Not much work being done in my little town. My little town is 2 miles and we sometimes have 2 officers on duty. What a joke. Then we have the other 2 towns backing these guys up. You make a call and sometimes get 4 cars or more from 2,3,or 4 different towns. Is this what we really need. Will someone please tell the story of the cop going through the back door of a building getting shot by the cop going through the front door of the same building.
#16 Aug 9, 2010
Terry, I am so glad some one else give's a sh t.
I would love to see the amount of money the nj police depts take in every year in just there
fee's alone for this traffic issue. i bet it has
gone thru the roof in the last 4 years. Just imagine how much less we would have to pay for
services, if the companies did not have to pay
for this type of police detail. Of course, people
will say they are protecting the workers. last
time i checked a lot of people have hazardous
jobs everyday.I'm sure who ever decided this
law, was for the good of the people who would make
the extra money. The police. anyway, same old
sh t, different day.
#17 Aug 10, 2010
No they don't make too much. Just like the soldiers ( who by the way make up for 87% of all crime in the town I live in now including violent crimes) they put their lives on the line. Yes in Vernon too! They also have huge tax bills and housing costs living in that town.
Get your money to pay them from The park that robbed us for 30 years.
The drug problem in Vernon is outragous. Just a few ago two teens beat a special needs kid up there. The cops need to be there to keep this kind of trash under control because the parents aren't.
Take a look at facebook look at the profiles of up and coming Vernon adults. Many many are using drugs dealing drugs and do crimes that many people do not know about. Not every crime is posted publically to citizens.
So with that
everyone knows some here and there but none of us know the whole picture.
Four officers on duty please really that's a problem? You should be thankful that someone shows up when you need help and they do because they are paid to and care about the well being of the citizens in the town. BTW many of them actually were raised in Vernon so the blood runs deeper than their wallet.
#18 Aug 10, 2010
Vernon is far more than 2 miles long
#19 Aug 11, 2010
Dear Cindy & Joe I have been reading your posts but I have my own opinion on this one. Raised in a large city were crime is much more serious and dangerous, the need for more officers and a high salary to keep the loyal dedicated ones (and not all are loyal and dedicated - lots of bad cops out there too) is important. However, Hamburg NJ is a small town with a 2 mile radius sitting in the middle of Franklin, Vernon and Hardyston. It has its own police force with way too many officers, a k-9 unit with its own fancy van, fancy dodge chargers, along with the other police cars etc.(Are they expecting smoking and the bandit to ride through the two mile town lol) It also has its own little municipal building. Hamburg taxes are also higher than Vernon or Hardyston and it is wrong. Whenever anything goes down in Hamburg at least 4 cop cars show up. Even for the smallest infraction (someone needs an ambulance - EMS and two cop cars will show up) Why are two cop cars necessary for the trip to the ER? In fact not only Hamburg shows up so does Hardyston and in some cases Vernon. This is not necessary. I have friends that are police officers and I would not say they do not deserve to be paid well. However, this is Sussex County not Essex or Passaic where they put themselves in harms way "every day" where there are drug dealers on the corners packing. Get serious - I have lived here for 13 years and have never heard of a car jacking, drive by shooting or murder in Hamburg. Yea there was a murder at legends a couple years ago (Vernon) and once in a while I hear about something really bad going down in Franklin but these things happen once in a while not every day. I read the paper too. Mostly drug offenses and DUI(s)in the paper. Someone mentioned that parents are not stepping up to handle their bad kids, etc. and are part of the problem. Well as long as you are in control of your kids this shouldn't be a problem for you. If Hamburg requires Hardyston & Vernon to back them up all the time then Vernon or Hardyston should take over the area completely and the departments should merge. These towns do not need three different chiefs of police, etc. Yes Vernon has a heroin problem so does every other small town in this area and the problem is not new it is just more known and talked about now. I'm sorry they are facing budget cuts but so is everyone else.
#20 Aug 11, 2010
Couldn't agree with you more!!! Its the whole damn system and its completely out of control. People are concerned about this budget cut but should be more concerned about the whole system. There has been so much corruption in these small towns in the past 10 years that a police budget cut is the least of the big concern. People need to look at the big picture.
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