Low pay drives Florida Highway Patrol troopers to the exits -- ...

Longtime Florida Highway Patrol troopers continue to leave the agency in droves for higher-paying jobs as police officers, deputy sheriffs and even federal air marshals. Full Story
DAJ

Monroe, LA

#25 Aug 28, 2007
Orlando Homegrown wrote:
Starting pay is almost $700 a week! And they are whining about not getting enough money. Check around and see what the average starting pay is for the greater majority of Florida's citizenry. Not to mention the type of job they have is driving a car with no speed limits to comply with, no physical labor to mention other an the occasional foot race. Then to think OPD starts out at a whopping $800 a week! Cry me a river! All we hear about is our underpayed law enforcement officers. Doesn't sound to me that they are doing too shabby! Most of these veteran cops with 10 years plus are making in excess of 55-60 grand a year.
Thank goodness not everyone takes that attitude, or we wouldn't have teachers, firefighters or law enforcement officers.
For too long Florida has tried to do law enforcement on the cheap. The result, crime that is out of control. Talk about low pay. A beginning State Attorney starts at just over 39,000/yr.
Orlando Homegrown

Orlando, FL

#26 Aug 28, 2007
mommysangels wrote:
“Orlando Homegrown wrote:
Starting pay is almost $700 a week! And they are whining about not getting enough money. Check around and see what the average starting pay is for the greater majority of Florida's citizenry. Not to mention the type of job they have is driving a car with no speed limits to comply with, no physical labor to mention other an the occasional foot race. Then to think OPD starts out at a whopping $800 a week! Cry me a river! All we hear about is our underpayed law enforcement officers. Doesn't sound to me that they are doing too shabby! Most of these veteran cops with 10 years plus are making in excess of 55-60 grand a year”
Well then you go out there every day and risk your life for 700 a week if you think it is so much that has to pay insurance, plus guess what life insurance she they have one of the most dangerous jobs,pension and then after they pay all that out they barely make 2/3 of that in a week. Florida's cost of living is rising but the pay in FL is not. Plus the tac dollars we do pay have to pay for someone sitting @ home collecting welfare driving around in a Escalade and believe me I have seen that first hand. I has a Nurse cannot make more than 35,000 a yr in less I work lots of overtime. Are you willing to give up time with your family to work OT just to make more money.Well the ones making 55-60,000 a year that is exactly what they are doing to make that much. So open mouth insert foot inless you have walked in their shoes are the dozen of families shoes that have lost their loved ones on the street because of criminals and Idiots that want to take the easy way to make a buck instead of working for it. SO besides pay everyday they make a choice to protect people like you for that 700.00 a week
I guess they didn't give any journalism courses in that "Nursing" school you attended, but regardless, I was able to decipher your comment after reading it a few times. As for the overtime, I work on the average of 15 to 20 hours of OT a week in a warehouse that reaches over 100 degrees during the day. I also choose to live in a state where the income index is much lower than some of the northern states that actually have been a major part of the staggering rise in the cost of all "American Made" products because of their "Union Scales"which in turn makes their "Cost of Living" actually much higher than most southern states. As for the "Life threatening" aspect of their jobs, you are right by all means. It is a dangerous occupation at times. But so is a construction workers job walking a 6" beam, or a cab driver having to pick up who knows who in the middle of the night. The bottom line is that they CHOSE their line of work and 95% of the time it's a cush job with absolutely no danger involved, the same as our firefighters. These are service oriented occupations that can infact be dangerous to ones health but to say they need to be compensated more than the other 100s of thousands of workers faced with all sorts of "Life threatening" jobs in our state is ludicrous. As for the welfare aspect of your comment, as long as those people want to stay in that level of bondage there's nothing we can do about that, Personally I'd shut all welfare done today if I could.
concerned and thankful

Winter Park, FL

#27 Aug 28, 2007
First and foremost anyone that gets into the law enforcement profession and thinks that they are going to do well financially is sadly mistaken and in for a rude awakening. As a veteran LEO I can look back on my career and wonder how I ever made it financially at times. My family suffered me working long hours and off duty jobs just to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. I was hardly ever home in the beginning and missed many little league games and school and church functions. My children and my wife understood what it took to provide for them. They were and are still proud of what I did with my life.

The feeling of pride that a person gets from doing this job the right way and the people's lives that you have touched means more than any amount of money.

I know that there are people here that will post and condemn cops and think that we are people with huge egos and cocky attitudes. While we do have our bad apples, most of us are hard working, dedicated people that love what we do. The job is not about arresting people or putting them in jail. It's about helping people and being the best person you can be for all that you encounter.

We endure working many holidays and family birthdays and things like that while the normal or average citizen sits comfortably in their homes. We don't whine or moan about it, we just go to work, do our jobs and enjoy each minute we get with family and friends.

I have enjoyed being a member of the law enforcement family. We are unique in the fact that when something bad happens to one of us, it happens to all of us and we take it very personal. We grieve and have problems just like everyone else. We are not immune to tragedy and sorrow in our lives. We suffer the same common everyday problems that nearly everyone encounters. We just have to hide it and go on about our daily work lives.

I don't think there are many people in this life that go to work each day, kiss their families goodbye and have the thoughts that this could be the last time they ever see them again. Our lives are on the line each time we respond to a call for assistance. We deal with people who hate us but do the best job for those type people as humanly possible.

As I stand near the very end of my career, I can honestly look myself in the mirror and feel good about my career and life. I didn't do it for the money, I did it because that is what I was called by a higher power to do.

God bless all of my brothers and sisters who put their lives on the line each and every day for people they don't even know.

One final thought, is the people that leave this profession to go after money, really don't have a clue what this job is about and we probably are better off without most of them.

Just my thoughts.
Leonard

Osteen, FL

#28 Aug 28, 2007
How in the hell do you expect to retain these Troopers if you don't pay them a wage the is fair for the job they do.I sure as hell won't risk my life for $32,000 a year. What a joke. I remember about 20 years ago the starting pay was only $20,000 a year. Come on Florida pay these people a fair wage.
Orlando Homegrown

Orlando, FL

#29 Aug 28, 2007
Thinking Person wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree with you on the issue of low salaries for other jobs in the state; salaries in every field are lower than those for comparable jobs in other states. And the cost of living keeps going up; most everyone is feeling the pinch. This needs to change.
Police officers and state troopers, though, face an element of risk every day which most of the rest of us do not. They never know whether the next person they pull over could wield a gun and end their lives in a second. That element of risk justifies that they be paid decent salaries.
I agree with you thinking person! I just say that they already are getting paid a "Decent" salary. You also need to figure in the perps that they receive as police officers. Many get their rents free so long as they can park their squad cars or patrol cars in the neighborhood, many u-haul type business don't charge you if you are a LEO, not to mention many places don't charge for their food and coffee and sodas and such, The "Part Time jobs they get directing traffic or sitting in a car at a go-kart track for security pays them $25-30 and hour,do you think you can get a side job making that hourly wage? Think not! And the list goes on and on. There are many fringe benefits that you never hear about unless you have a LEO as a close relative or friend. And I have both.
Orlando Homegrown

Orlando, FL

#30 Aug 28, 2007
ntheno wrote:
<quoted text>
Key word here is "choice". They choose to take the job. No one is forcing them. If they don't like they pay, then find another profession. Like the whining firefighters, many, if not most, could simply not make that kind of $$ because they don't have the skills or education.[rant on]So now we, the taxpayers, end up with a lot of cops with a bad attitude. Yes. A lot of cops today have too much attitude. Seems like the last few years cops have developed an increasing mas macho attitude. I used to be a big law enforcement booster, but no more. Local and state cops have developed quite the brown shirt mentality, especially since around 9/11.[rant off]
I Couldn't have stated better!
No way

Saint Augustine, FL

#31 Aug 28, 2007
WTF wrote:
i have a college degree and i can't even find a job starting at around what FHP troopers are paying...i'm going to use this as ammunition in my next interview....
What do you have to bring to the table besides a degree? Do you have any additional skills or any relevant experience that relate to the jobs you are targeting? Being bilingual helped me a lot.
Pete

Sanford, FL

#32 Aug 28, 2007
WTF wrote:
i have a college degree and i can't even find a job starting at around what FHP troopers are paying...i'm going to use this as ammunition in my next interview....
Dude - where ARE you coming from? Did you even read the post just above yours?

And use WHAT for ammunition when you interview for WHAT job? A retail worker? An Accountant? A Salesman? Oh yeah - those are REALLY DANGEROUS jobs.

Just because you and a trooper are walking the earth at the same time does not mean you are both entitled to earn the same salary.

Get real.
Orlando Homegrown

Orlando, FL

#33 Aug 28, 2007
Leonard wrote:
How in the hell do you expect to retain these Troopers if you don't pay them a wage the is fair for the job they do.I sure as hell won't risk my life for $32,000 a year. What a joke. I remember about 20 years ago the starting pay was only $20,000 a year. Come on Florida pay these people a fair wage.
I hate to tell you, you risk your life more than they do every time you get behind the steering wheel of a car to go to work!The odds are much better of you getting killed in a car accident than for a police officer getting gunned down somewhere. How many police officers are employee nation wide and how many get killed each year whether by accident or intent? The figure would not even show up on a percentile scale of 1 to 100% it's so low.
Orlando Homegrown

Orlando, FL

#34 Aug 28, 2007
concerned and thankful wrote:
First and foremost anyone that gets into the law enforcement profession and thinks that they are going to do well financially is sadly mistaken and in for a rude awakening. As a veteran LEO I can look back on my career and wonder how I ever made it financially at times. My family suffered me working long hours and off duty jobs just to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. I was hardly ever home in the beginning and missed many little league games and school and church functions. My children and my wife understood what it took to provide for them. They were and are still proud of what I did with my life.
The feeling of pride that a person gets from doing this job the right way and the people's lives that you have touched means more than any amount of money.
I know that there are people here that will post and condemn cops and think that we are people with huge egos and cocky attitudes. While we do have our bad apples, most of us are hard working, dedicated people that love what we do. The job is not about arresting people or putting them in jail. It's about helping people and being the best person you can be for all that you encounter.
We endure working many holidays and family birthdays and things like that while the normal or average citizen sits comfortably in their homes. We don't whine or moan about it, we just go to work, do our jobs and enjoy each minute we get with family and friends.
I have enjoyed being a member of the law enforcement family. We are unique in the fact that when something bad happens to one of us, it happens to all of us and we take it very personal. We grieve and have problems just like everyone else. We are not immune to tragedy and sorrow in our lives. We suffer the same common everyday problems that nearly everyone encounters. We just have to hide it and go on about our daily work lives.
I don't think there are many people in this life that go to work each day, kiss their families goodbye and have the thoughts that this could be the last time they ever see them again. Our lives are on the line each time we respond to a call for assistance. We deal with people who hate us but do the best job for those type people as humanly possible.
As I stand near the very end of my career, I can honestly look myself in the mirror and feel good about my career and life. I didn't do it for the money, I did it because that is what I was called by a higher power to do.
God bless all of my brothers and sisters who put their lives on the line each and every day for people they don't even know.
One final thought, is the people that leave this profession to go after money, really don't have a clue what this job is about and we probably are better off without most of them.
Just my thoughts.
There still are a few good honest police officers out there and it sounds like you are one of them, good luck on your retirement and I'm sure our state will be at a loss upon your leaving the force!
Mona

Orlando, FL

#35 Aug 28, 2007
The deserve more pay. Shame on Legislature! I will not mind paying more taxes if it means more security on the road and at night while I sleep. Give them more money and taxes less for Libraries and parks.
Raul

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#36 Aug 28, 2007
How about making thier salaries tax exempt...or at least giving them a tax free housng allowance.

That should help.
Allison

United States

#37 Aug 28, 2007
smh wrote:
<quoted text>
Another reality is that what he said isn't far from the truth. If you're unable to live comfortably off of $7-800 a week, the you may need to rethink your priorities. I definitely have the utmost respect for LEO, but they do make plenty of money.
It's not that easy to "rethink" my priorities. I'm an attorney employed by the state, making roughly $800 a week. After I pay my rent, student loan payments (which for my law school education are HUGE), utilities, gas, credit card payments (which unfortunately continue to be necessary), I'm having trouble buying groceries the last two weeks of the month. I've had to take a second job cashiering at night - not to get ahead, but to break even!

Yes, I chose this career, and yes, I chose to be employed by the state (and therefore chose the low salary). But I think it is a SHAME that the state cares less about hiring and retaining qualified individuals by offering a competitive salary, and more about fluff social welfare programs and grants and tax breaks for businesses.

If anyone needs to rethink their priorities, it is the state.
Ted

Sanford, FL

#38 Aug 28, 2007
To the ones saying that $700/wk gross pay is great pay.....you must have purchased your home in the 90's where your mortgage is no higher than $600, or you have 2-3 roommates. Go out and try to afford a house even in Pine Hills with a mortgage less than $900/month with property taxes & insurance, which is well over 50% of that person's net income (30% is the suggested affordability).

Point is, 30-40k HH income barely gets you buy these days in Orlando.
Ted

Sanford, FL

#39 Aug 28, 2007
I meant "$900/month, PLUS property taxes and insurance"
Allison

United States

#40 Aug 28, 2007
DAJ wrote:
<quoted text>
Thank goodness not everyone takes that attitude, or we wouldn't have teachers, firefighters or law enforcement officers.
For too long Florida has tried to do law enforcement on the cheap. The result, crime that is out of control. Talk about low pay. A beginning State Attorney starts at just over 39,000/yr.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for pointing out the pay for beginning State Attorneys. Also know that the starting pay is the same for starting Public Defenders and Trial Court Staff Attorneys (of which I am one).

The difference between the State Attorneys/Public Defenders and the Trial Court Staff Attorneys is that SAs and PDs receive bigger and more frequent pay increases. After two full years of employment, I MIGHT receive a $2500 pay increase, of which I will probably clear $150 a month, which isn't even enough to cover a car payment (on a used car, even!) so I can stop driving my 10-year old car.

We don't even get a cost of living increase this year. Thank God the price of gas is slowly decreasing...I'm lucky I can even afford to GET to work!
FightTheTeachers Union

Orlando, FL

#41 Aug 28, 2007
OneVoice3-
In case you missed it, public school teachers make more per hour than policemen. National studies have consistently shown that teachers get paid about $30/hour. That's a lot more than my babysitter and a lot more than firefighters and policemen. Fight teachers' unions!
cant dispute this

El Paso, TX

#42 Aug 28, 2007
Orlando Homegrown wrote:
<quoted text>I agree with you thinking person! I just say that they already are getting paid a "Decent" salary. You also need to figure in the perps that they receive as police officers. Many get their rents free so long as they can park their squad cars or patrol cars in the neighborhood, many u-haul type business don't charge you if you are a LEO, not to mention many places don't charge for their food and coffee and sodas and such, The "Part Time jobs they get directing traffic or sitting in a car at a go-kart track for security pays them $25-30 and hour,do you think you can get a side job making that hourly wage? Think not! And the list goes on and on. There are many fringe benefits that you never hear about unless you have a LEO as a close relative or friend. And I have both.
you hit it right on the head not to mention a car that they can take were they like anytime no gas or insurence or up keep to pay for and all the other perks, they get payed well and if they dont agree do like other people do find another job.
ntheno

Winter Park, FL

#43 Aug 28, 2007
DAJ wrote:
Talk about low pay. A beginning State Attorney starts at just over 39,000/yr.
A job that requires a law degree, working for FHP only requires a HS diploma.
No doubt there are some fine folks working in L.E. It's just that there seems to be more and more with a real snotty attitude....and don't even get me started on the FHP wolf pack operations......
watcher

United States

#44 Aug 28, 2007
Doug wrote:
<quoted text>this was done in Volusia county and it led to some very dubious seizures of legitamate money the legitamate owners of the money seized had to go to court and prove it is legal and theres and thats not right. Also it was proven that racial profiling was used as SOP by the police. BAD IDEA like letting the fox gaurd the hen house.
So what! dont you think they are going to take the money anywhay? They seize all the time and then make you win it back in court if yiu can!

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