Cops are whining about low pay and morale, but they have it as good as ever.
This month, there has been a slew of pieces by fascist propaganda outlets, like the New York Post, Washington Times, and Daily Mail, as well as mainstream papers like the New York Times on an increase in resignations at the NYPD due to supposed low pay, long hours, and “low morale.” Despite the obviously self-serving reasons why cops would want the media to spread the idea that cops aren’t paid enough, most of, if not all, the people quoted in these articles are cops.
But NYPD officers are paid well and have it as good as ever in New York City.
The Post’s article specifically cites six cops who went to work in Danbury, Connecticut where officer starting salary is between $63,900 and $74,400 a year. An NYPD cop’s starting salary is certainly lower than that at $42,500, but readers should note it jumps to $85,292 after five and a half years. And this isn’t including overtime, which NYPD’s job description explains can help bump the starting salary up to $100,000 a year.
NYPD cops often lie about overtime too, so they don’t even have to actually work those hours. A report by Bloomberg in October 2021 found that in the 2020 fiscal year, NYPD cops “logged more overtime hours than any other big city in the US” while “violent crime rates still went up.” The report also noted that “more than 16,000 [cops] took home over $100,000 in salary and overtime.”
Police pay in New York City also balloons once they reach the higher ranks, with detectives and sergeants regularly making over six figures and deputy commissioners typically making around $242,000 before overtime. Keep in mind that the median individual income in NYC is only $34,386, according to the US Census Bureau.
Along with the pay, there are other reasons why NYPD cops’ complaints about low morale are preposterous. For one, NYPD cops are routinely given fawning praise by local media.
Just this month, local paper amNY, along with doing sycophantic articles on calendars with NYPD dogs and horses, did a ride-along copaganda piece where they blurred cops’ faces and hid their identities while showing the faces of people arrested by cops. CNN fired their last remaining “policing in America” reporter and instead decided to keep former NYPD Counterterrorism chief John Miller as “an all-encompassing law-enforcement analyst.”
NYPD detective Michael Black fell about 20 feet out of a helicopter during a training exercise and broke his leg earlier this month. When Black was released from the hospital, he was applauded by a large crowd of cops outside despite not really doing anything worthy of applause. This was all, of course, obsequiously covered by local media.
NYPD detective Dominick Libretti, along with lots of other heavily-armed cops, executed a drug raid on a home in Staten Island in January. The man they were looking for wasn’t there, but Nelson Pizarro, along with two women and a child, were home. Pizarro, armed only with a handgun, tried to defend himself against the mob of heavily-armed and armored men invading his home and shot at the cops, hitting Libretti (who was holding a shield) in the leg. The cops then shot Pizarro, arrested him, and charged him with attempted murder of a cop. Local media hailed Libretti as a “hero” although Pizarro was the one who showed incredible bravery while having his home invaded by a group of violent, armed men intent on enforcing racist and unjust drug laws. Earlier this month, when Pizarro was bailed out with the help of an NFL player, Libretti referred to shooting a cop as “the worst crime in New York you could ever think of” and complained about Pizarro being bailed out to the New York Post, who again called Libretti a “hero.”
In addition to being treated as heroes by local media, NYPD cops routinely commit atrocities and get away with it.
NYPD cops protected fascists and bigots while repressing and arresting counter-protesters at multiple events this month. They protected anti-abortion religious fanatics who were trying to harass people at a nearby Planned Parenthood and arrested seven clinic defenders who were counter-protesting the religious fanatics. NYPD cops guarded a New York Young Republican Club event filled with fascists on December 10. NYPD also protected transphobic right-wingers harassing people at a Drag Story Hour event in Manhattan on December 11 while arresting one man who tried to stand up to the transphobes.
Daniel Alvarez and Andrey Samusev, two NYPD cops who drove into crowds during the protests in 2020, went to the first day of their departmental trial on December 14. Since it’s only a departmental, rather than criminal, trial, they can only, at worst, be fired rather than locked up. And even being fired is an unlikely outcome. On the same day, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell announced in an internal memo that she will be reducing penalties for cops who are found guilty of misconduct.
In 2018, NYPD cops Kyle Erickson and Elmer Pastran were caught on camera planting marijuana in two civilians’ vehicles. Despite the video, both cops were still cleared of any wrongdoing by Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon and the NYPD. Only this month, more than three years after the incident, was it revealed by THE CITY that the FBI and the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York are finally investigating the two cops. But the chances that the cops will be charged with anything remains low.
And on December 4, NYPD cops shot 39-year-old Daniel Rivera in the Bronx over an allegedly stolen car. Rivera died the next day. The cops claim that Rivera got into a shootout with cops after a car chase. Rivera’s family doubts the cops’ account of what happened and note that he wasn’t into cars and didn’t even like to travel by car. One of the cops who shot Rivera was Michael Meneses, the same cop that was involved in an April 2021 shootout in the Bronx where bystander Abdul Jallow was shot. The cops claim they weren’t able to find out whether a cop or civilian shot Jallow because the bullet had created an in-and-out arm wound. Jallow never left the hospital after being shot and died months later from his injuries. Neither Meneses nor any other cop involved in these shootings will face any consequences for the deaths of these two men.
All of these stories from just this month reveal the extreme sense of self-entitlement underlying NYPD cops’ cries and claims of low morale. NYPD cops even recently whined to the New York Post about being asked to merely put an NYPD phone sticker on their work cell phones because it would make it difficult for them to play around on their personal phones while on the job. Not to mention the fact that NYPD cops have always claimed to have low morale in order to either push for more money or to push back against protests and reforms they don’t like. These cops cannot stand anything less than being showered with money and given total impunity to do whatever they want. NYPD cops have it as good as they’ve ever had it. Don’t let them whine and lie their way into getting even more!
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