The city must give a raise to New York’s Finest, according to a Sheepshead Bay councilman, who claimed local cops struggle to make ends meet with the wages they earn protecting and serving the Big Apple.
“Mayor DeBlasio should pay them a salary that means police officers don’t have to worry each day about how to pay their rent, buy essentials, care for their elderly, and put food on the table,” said Councilman Chaim Deutsch at a March 19 rally outside City Hall.
Deutsch that day delivered a letter to Hizzoner demanding salary bumps for Police Department officers, which he signed along with 36 other councilmembers, including 11 of Brooklyn’s 15 representatives.
The missive came as leaders of cop union the Police Benevolent Association begin a new round of contract negotiations with the city, roughly two years after Hizzoner signed off on the last pay raise for local authorities in 2017. And the fact that a majority of councilmembers support boosting police paychecks should be reason enough for the mayor to allocate more cash to cops, according to Deutsch.
“The support that we had for this letter is unparalleled, and it sends a strong message to the mayor that our side of City Hall supports the police,” the pol said.
City cops currently receive a starting salary of $42,500, which rises to $85,000 after five-and-a-half years with the force — but Deutsch blasted those sums as paltry when compared to figures he claimed other authorities outside — and inside — the Empire State rake in.
“By five-and-a-half years on the job, officers in other states are earning at least $15,000 more than that. And Suffolk County police earn a whopping $54,000 more than NYPD officers” he said.
Some 16 percent of all city police officers live in Kings County, according to data published by a gadfly who sued the city to get the statistics. And that data shows Brooklyn’s 11229 zip code — which incorporates much of Sheepshead Bay and Gerritsen Beach, and is represented by Deutsch and Councilman Alan Maisel (D–Flatlands) — is home to 154 cops, the highest amount by local zip codes.
Kings County’s median household income, however, is $52,782, according to the United States Census Bureau — almost 25 percent more than a city cop’s starting salary. The federal data also shows that households with a 11229 zip code earn a median income of $59,287 — 38 percent more than the city pays rookie officers.
Deutsch noted those disparities at the rally, where he used DeBlasio’s own words to accuse him of lowballing officers, citing Hizzoner’s 2017 announcement of his so-called New York Works plan to create 100,000 jobs with good wages — which the mayor then defined then as more than $50,000 annually.
“When Mayor DeBlasio promised to create 100,000 well-paying jobs in New York City, he himself defined well-paying jobs as $50,000 or more per year,” Deutsch said.
A rep for DeBlasio, who claimed local cops are some of the county’s best paid, said the mayor is working with the police union to reach an agreement on pay increases.
“New York City police officers are some of the best compensated in the nation,” said Raul Contreras. “We remain committed to working with the PBA to come to a contract agreement that is fair to police officers and taxpayers. We proved we can accomplish this across the bargaining table in 2017, and we can do it again now.”