Getting The Truth About Our Pay E-mail
What is a police officer worth? Well he or she certainly is worth the $52,000 that he maxes out at for his 40-hour week. But what about the intangible worth?

Once again in Boston, the media goes to print with their annual, predictable, “The Cops Make Too Much Money” attack article.

Every year, we, the police collectively, run for coverage and ride out the abuse.

Somebody had to say something. Somebody should defend us. Why didn’t headquarters call a press conference and so we could have someone supporting us on the 6 o’clock news?

Something simple, like “ . . . we have strict rules that police officers work under. While doing a difficult job, they earn their money. Cut, and it’s a wrap. If no one wants to go on TV or on record, why not issue a one-paragraph media release stating something similar?

Somebody has to send the message to the public that the Boston Herald and The Boston Globe seriously distorted the whole picture to fit their agenda.

Why not write a story about how many officers made $15,000 or less in addition to their base pay?

Why not spell out the number of hours required to earn this kind of money? For a “mere” $15,000 a year, one would need to work a 40 hour week, plus work on one of their day’s off every week for 52 weeks of the year.

When discussed in realistic terms, it would be hard to begrudge anyone the financial benefit from working that hard. Someone has to tell the public that earning $100,000 a year by working 80-plus hours a week, 52 weeks a year, is not an excessive amount of money.

Is $100,00 dollars per year a lot for a lowly patrolman? Yes it is. It is not a lot for two lowly patrolmen in the City of Boston. At 80-plus hours a week, that is what $100,000 buys. Two patrolmen. Two police officers doing their job, out in the public, trained, armed, ready to sacrifice their lives, for the citizens of  Boston. Two patrol officers, or 80-man hours a week.

No one seems to understand that the city is getting two police officers for the price of one if the officer is willing to work 40 hours of overtime. That’s one firearm. one academy training, one health insurance plan, one uniform allowance, one set of vacation/personal/sick days and so on.

The City has saved millions of dollars in costs because police officers work overtime. Our union knew no one in the administration would defend us so we decided to speak up for our members. We bought a series of radio ads to get the real story out to the public about the facts on police pay. Our state and city is facing tough financial times ahead, but we expect our contract to be honored.

Boston police officers have done an excellent job for the citizens of this city and we expect a fair contract in return. But my fear is that our union will continue to face broken promises and attacks on hard won benefits and conditions of employment that we have negotiated over the years.

If that happens, the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association will continue to do what we’ve always done – fight hard for fairness and justice for all of Boston’s cops, no matter how long or hard the battle becomes.
Daniel Fagan is Treasurer of the Boston Police Patrolmen Association

Messing With Your Image

If the past is any kind of indication, there is going to be a huge outcry from police about the show "The Shield." The outrage is understandable. The show paints cops as racist, sex-crazed psychopaths - an image that isn't exactly what folks have in mind after watching all those cops at ground zero giving their lives to save hundreds of people.

But the question is this. If a really badly written and poorly acted cop show airs on the FX network, does anyone watch it? This is a cable network whose flagship program is Howard Stern's "Son of the Beach." And even if some folks do wind up seeing this piece of crap, is it really the kind of thing that merits serious attention from anybody?

If watching "The Shield" is going to be a critical factor in the publics' assessment of law enforcement, then the battle is already lost. And if individual police officers and their representative associations have to respond to every portrayal of cops on television, there probably won't be enough time left for real-life crime fighting. The fact is that the show is not only really bad, but also totally offensive. They may have slipped in a few jerks on "NYPD Blue" but no one ever graphically depicted a sex act involving an eight-year-old. If this show somehow finds an audience, then it will be time to marshal the troops. And that time may be here sooner than we think. One reviewer just called it "the best new show on television."

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