Quinn Bill, and educated cops it develops, is a no-brainer

Full story: Lowell Sun

That is what Bob Quinn -- former speaker of the Massachusetts House, attorney general and unsuccessful candidate for governor -- tells people, including a security guard at Boston College, who hailed him as "Bill" the other day.
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1 - 20 of 49 Comments Last updated Apr 22, 2010
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Powell

Manchester, NH

#1 Apr 2, 2010
The Quinn Bill is a scam.
Local

Maynard, MA

#2 Apr 5, 2010
Another item not properly thought out when it comes to proper funding and financials accounting methods.
Amused

Boston, MA

#3 Apr 5, 2010
In its time, the Quinn bill made sense. When the police force consisted mostly of HS diploma holders, but policing was becoming more sophisticated and complex, the existing force needed to be upgraded in place, to blend the accumulated experience they had built up with higher education to create better cops. Times have changed, and there is now a huge pool of criminal justice majors from colleges and community colleges to choose from. It is time, and probably past time, to say that from now on, you need to have a degree to be hired as a policed officer, and a masters to progress to captain and higher ranks. These should be minimum qualifications, and candidates should be expected to obtain these credentials on their own, as the ticket for entry into the field, the same way engineers need an engineering degree, doctors need a medical degree, etc. People already in the system should be able to continue under the old rules, since that was part of the deal when they were hired. Through retirement, we should be able to turn over the entire force over a period of years, and the cost of the Quinn bill should go down each year until the last Quinn bill hires are gone.
Don

Westford, MA

#4 Apr 5, 2010
we are not living in the 60's anymore, time to unleash the horses from this gravy train,
billerica resident

Winchester, MA

#5 Apr 5, 2010
A job requirement for a municipal plolice offier shoud be a graduate of a 4 year accredited college or university. This is a job requirement for me in the government sector, why are cops different. And no free tuition for a grad degree for cops; many of these degrees in criminal justice are bogus, offered by colleges to make some quick money, with teachers often times cops or former cops, who awared credit and A grades for real world experience. And for those cops who get thjeir law degress paid for, they often times leave police work to work in primvate legal practice. SCAM!!@!
Wut

Tyngsboro, MA

#6 Apr 5, 2010
billerica resident wrote:
A job requirement for a municipal plolice offier shoud be a graduate of a 4 year accredited college or university. This is a job requirement for me in the government sector, why are cops different. And no free tuition for a grad degree for cops; many of these degrees in criminal justice are bogus, offered by colleges to make some quick money, with teachers often times cops or former cops, who awared credit and A grades for real world experience. And for those cops who get thjeir law degress paid for, they often times leave police work to work in primvate legal practice. SCAM!!@!
Police officers DO NOT GET free tuition unless they have the GI Bill from the military. Who told you this? Regarding making it a requirement...assuming there will be no more Quinn Bill...what is a fair salary for a police officer with a bachelors degree? What was your starting salary? Do you have a hazardous job? Does your job require you to work night shifts, holidays and weekends?
Enough

Lowell, MA

#7 Apr 5, 2010
I rarely agree with you but your post probably makes the most sense in the way it should be handled. Police officers pay for there own education and benefit from it after they receive there degree. I spent thousands of dollars over a 6 year period getting my bachelors degree while working full time raising a family. It has not yet paid for itself as I, like most other middle class working moms and dads struggle to pay bills while getting crushed by increases. Ya I work details and OT who on this comment section wouldn't if available. I got educated for three reasons, my pay increased, It allowed me to learn a little something beyond high school baloney and yes, pads my pension by 20% down the road. It was available when I was hired, I took advantage of it. So would you.
Amused wrote:
In its time, the Quinn bill made sense. When the police force consisted mostly of HS diploma holders, but policing was becoming more sophisticated and complex, the existing force needed to be upgraded in place, to blend the accumulated experience they had built up with higher education to create better cops. Times have changed, and there is now a huge pool of criminal justice majors from colleges and community colleges to choose from. It is time, and probably past time, to say that from now on, you need to have a degree to be hired as a policed officer, and a masters to progress to captain and higher ranks. These should be minimum qualifications, and candidates should be expected to obtain these credentials on their own, as the ticket for entry into the field, the same way engineers need an engineering degree, doctors need a medical degree, etc. People already in the system should be able to continue under the old rules, since that was part of the deal when they were hired. Through retirement, we should be able to turn over the entire force over a period of years, and the cost of the Quinn bill should go down each year until the last Quinn bill hires are gone.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#8 Apr 5, 2010
Wut wrote:
<quoted text>
...what is a fair salary for a police officer with a bachelors degree?
Not again. We went through this degree stuff with the teacher posts. I think a bachelor's degree should add nothing to a police officers salary. Zero. If you asked how much a bachelor's degree was worth I'd ask you if it was science or arts. What major, how flexible is it? What is the commercial value of the degree?

People might want to enter law enforcement for any number of reasons. Detail work and the opportunity to earn 6 figures is probably at the top.

People earning minimum wage work nights and weekends, holidays too. So what? What someone else does is irrelevant. If people want to work 8 to 5 monday through fiday they probably shouldn't consider being a cop. No one is forced to be a police officer.
Wut

Tyngsboro, MA

#9 Apr 5, 2010
Wondering wrote:
<quoted text>
Not again. We went through this degree stuff with the teacher posts. I think a bachelor's degree should add nothing to a police officers salary. Zero. If you asked how much a bachelor's degree was worth I'd ask you if it was science or arts. What major, how flexible is it? What is the commercial value of the degree?
People might want to enter law enforcement for any number of reasons. Detail work and the opportunity to earn 6 figures is probably at the top.
People earning minimum wage work nights and weekends, holidays too. So what? What someone else does is irrelevant. If people want to work 8 to 5 monday through fiday they probably shouldn't consider being a cop. No one is forced to be a police officer.
Do jobs that require a degree have a higher salary than those that do not?
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#10 Apr 5, 2010
Wut wrote:
<quoted text>
Do jobs that require a degree have a higher salary than those that do not?
Not always. A plumber or an electrician can make much more than a teacher or a cop. What you seem to have missed is that there are all kinds of degrees. Some are worth more than others. The second thing you are overlooking is the beneit package that public employees get. Up to 80% of salary at retirement and how old does a cop have to be to retire with full pension. It isn't 67.
Wut

Tyngsboro, MA

#12 Apr 5, 2010
Wondering wrote:
<quoted text>
Not always. A plumber or an electrician can make much more than a teacher or a cop. What you seem to have missed is that there are all kinds of degrees. Some are worth more than others. The second thing you are overlooking is the beneit package that public employees get. Up to 80% of salary at retirement and how old does a cop have to be to retire with full pension. It isn't 67.
I'm not missing it and I think if you can get quality people and require the degrees then thats a win for taxpayers. It has been tried before though and the degree requirement was soon dropeed due to lack of candidates. Wasn't around here though.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#13 Apr 5, 2010
Wut wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm not missing it and I think if you can get quality people and require the degrees then thats a win for taxpayers. It has been tried before though and the degree requirement was soon dropeed due to lack of candidates. Wasn't around here though.
Whenever I see a thread on municipal union pay and benefits the first thing that comes to my mind is the benefit package. The maximum social security benefit is 25% of salary at 67. The maximum public employee benefit is 80% of salary at a much younger age. It doesn't stop there.
http://www.boston.com/news/specials/pension_a...
http://www.masslive.com/opinion/index.ssf/201...
Surprised

Montgomery, AL

#14 Apr 5, 2010
Wut wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm not missing it and I think if you can get quality people and require the degrees then thats a win for taxpayers. It has been tried before though and the degree requirement was soon dropeed due to lack of candidates. Wasn't around here though.
I'm surprised by this. I know a few guys with degrees that would love to have been cops, but they couldn't get into local department. I knew one guy who went NYPD to get some cred and now works in NH. It's not an easy field to break into it seems.
Amused

Boston, MA

#15 Apr 5, 2010
Wut wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm not missing it and I think if you can get quality people and require the degrees then thats a win for taxpayers. It has been tried before though and the degree requirement was soon dropeed due to lack of candidates. Wasn't around here though.
I don't know where it was tried before, but around here, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a community college or 4 year college that offers a criminal justice degree.
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#16 Apr 5, 2010
My solution to the funding problems are this. Union members pay dues, the unions collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in this state, more likely millions, and use it to buy politcians.

The cities and towns should get these union people together and let them hash it out. Example, if Tyngsboro has a budget of $50 million, present that to the unions that represent the town's employees. Tell them to come up with a plan and put it in writing, but they have only $50 million to work with. The selectmen will review the plan and if it can be done it will. Make these people work for the money instead of just asking for more every year. They claim that they know what's best for their membership.
NOT Amused

Cambridge, MA

#17 Apr 5, 2010
Amused wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't know where it was tried before, but around here, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a community college or 4 year college that offers a criminal justice degree.
Good point. In fact I see catchy click ads for criminal justice degrees or links to BE A COP, on some of the most trashy of websites. I also understand that a majority of the professors are just retired or semi-retired lawmen themselves, yet another income opportunity provided by the job.

My problem is that you can become a cop and barely be educated, to begin with. The fact that they can get a degree at Podunk-U does not impress me. What would impress me would be if you actually had to have the same basic criteria that most jobs do, which is that you show AHEAD OF TIME, that you are college educated. It shows that you had the work ethic, motivation and ambition and that you found the means to do it. I know medical technitians who paid their way through school, only to come out and earn $40k, about 1/3 of a high paid cop (or half a starter salary). Why do we allow people to enforce something as complex and high thinking as the law, plus give them guns and badges, and then tell them they can get educated later IF THEY WANT TO. What kinds of people is that going to attract?

Then again, I'd rather have a dumb honest cop than a well educated abuser but we already know that honesty and integrity aren't happening in Massachusetts law enforcement agencys so AT LEAST, could we attract some people who are smart enough to at least read the manual?
Paul

Somerville, MA

#19 Apr 6, 2010
I agree but I don't think they were talking about military. They were talking about cops and the Massachusetts Quinn Bill. Men and women who give their lives for our country and our freedom are most certainly heros and those who joined the military because they could not afford an education on their own, in my eyes have the same integrity, ambition and courage as those who paid on their own and did not chose a military route.
Sleuth

Lowell, MA

#20 Apr 6, 2010
F Roark-American Hero wrote:
<quoted text>Not everyone has the courage to step up and be a hero. It takes a special breed of man. I don't see flagmen in hand-to-hand combat.
The job is "community service." That means you give of yourself, for the betterment of your community. The heroes are those who do so and ask for nothing in return. Simply donning a uniform does not make you a hero, much like putting on a minister's frock makes you holy, or being elected to public office makes you smarter than others.
Paul

Somerville, MA

#21 Apr 6, 2010
Nicely put, though I do believe that it takes a hero-like quality to be willing to fight in the military, especially on the front lines.

Anyway, I don't see what this has to do with the Quinn Bill. That is about providing state funding for furthering police educations and sounds like something worthy of debate on both sides as long as an officer has been honest and has upheld his or her position with dignity and is above reproach.
Concerned Citizen

Billerica, MA

#22 Apr 6, 2010
Quinn Bill is a euphemism for just another hack benefit. I needed a college degree BEFORE being hired for my job and would not have been hired without it.

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