VonRichtofen
Topic Author
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Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 11:02 am

Hey all,

I saw on TV that the average salary for a first year police officer in the US is between $30,000-$35,000/year.... WTF? Not only that but the same show was saying it would take around 10 years of service to reach the $50,000/year mark. Do they really pay first responders this poorly? Or was this show just exaggerating?


Kris
 
ltbewr
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 11:11 am

That I believe is true for some cities, including NY City. Some suburban districts and some other cities may have starting salaries, after initial training, of into the $40,000+ range and some as much as $70,000 after 5 years as an officer. Don't forget to add overtime, usually no-pay benefits, 20 days vacation a year after the 1st year, uniform allowances, stong civil service protections, union protections.
 
halls120
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 11:16 am

Quoting VonRichtofen (Thread starter):
Hey all,

I saw on TV that the average salary for a first year police officer in the US is between $30,000-$35,000/year.... WTF? Not only that but the same show was saying it would take around 10 years of service to reach the $50,000/year mark. Do they really pay first responders this poorly? Or was this show just exaggerating?

In some small departments, that is indeed the case. However, in the larger urban areas, the starting and top end salaries tend to be higher, and there's always overtime.

For example, the city of Chico, CA - a mid sized California city - is hiring experienced officers (as lateral moves) at 71,000 per year.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 11:16 am

Quoting VonRichtofen (Thread starter):
I saw on TV that the average salary for a first year police officer in the US is between $30,000-$35,000/year.... WTF?

That is correct. Anchorage PD starting wage is just about US$38K for the first year, then a slight raise to somewhere near US$41K. Senior officers (fifteen years or so) make about US$65K. With overtime I've seen some officers make US$80K. It's published in the Anchorage paper every year . . . each cops name from the Chief down and how much they made the previous year . . .

Quoting VonRichtofen (Thread starter):
Do they really pay first responders this poorly?

Yes, they do. Fireman are no different. Ditto paramedics.

That's why it's certain that it takes a special breed to want to do the job.

I'm not going to tell you what I make - I wouldn't want PacificJourney losing his lunch. Ahhh, what the hell: between my US Army retirement and my current salary situation, I'm over US$100K per annum cash in the bank. But that's with 30 years between the two jobs.
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L-188
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 11:29 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3):
That is correct. Anchorage PD starting wage is just about US$38K for the first year, then a slight raise to somewhere near US$41K. Senior officers (fifteen years or so) make about US$65K. With overtime I've seen some officers make US$80K. It's published in the Anchorage paper every year . . . each cops name from the Chief down and how much they made the previous year . .

Didn't that rate just go up this summer?
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bushpilot
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 11:32 am

Quoting VonRichtofen (Thread starter):
Do they really pay first responders this poorly? Or was this show just exaggerating?

Another poorly paid member of the government worker type are teachers. In my little town brand new cops make 36k per year, up to 50k or so. As a local city council member, trust me when I say it is a struggle to pay them what they truely deserve. It falls mostly on the local government and there is such disparity nation and statewide in thier income levels that for smaller/poorer departments it is very difficult to compete with richer ones as you can imagine.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3):
I'm not going to tell you what I make

I am sure working for probably the richest borough/county per capita in the nation helps that. But I certainly dont think badly of you for working up on the slope, I only feel bad for you putting up with the dark.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 11:40 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 4):
Didn't that rate just go up this summer?

Yup, from US$32K to US$38K. When I applied with APD after I retired, they offered $US32K per year, working 4 10s, graveyard of course.  spit 

That's why I didn't take the job in Anchorage.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
AirCop
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 12:03 pm

California Highway Patrol
Base Salary : 56,880
1/2 OT each day for lunch: 4321*
Physical Performance : 1560
Pre-Post Shift : 2420
Shift Differential: 1650
Grand Total : $66,831 Avg OT per CHP officer per year is $8,000. (All figures from the CHP website)

Good public relations, + strong union = good benefits.

* CHP officers work an 8 1/2 shift, about seven years ago the state started to pay a 1/2 a day at the OT rate for the lunch period.

Currently the state is picking up the officer share (8%) of the retirement contributions, which results in a larger take home pay.

[Edited 2006-10-21 05:05:14]
 
AirCop
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 12:19 pm

Found this website:
www.theblueline.com/salary1.html

Has salaries for the top departments in the US ranked by cost of living etc. Its dated 2004, but it will give you a general idea.
 
FlyingTexan
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 12:52 pm

Officers with Las Vegas Metro start at 42k working 4/10s. Senior LV firefighters top out at 100k plus. There was a staunchly worded article in the RJ some time ago bad mouthing that. I'm all for it. I'm sure the reporter will change his tune if/when they save his ass.

In Texas, many Harris County Sheriff's Deputies and Constables work extra jobs under the table for $25ish per hour.
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dragon-wings
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:10 pm

Here in Suffolk County New York the 2007 starting base salary for a police officer is $57,811. With 5 years of service, the base salary is $97,958.

http://www.co.suffolk.ny.us/police/recruitment.htm
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CO7e7
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 2:46 pm

One of the police depts. that i'm applying for (here at KSU) pays 33K...

I'm also taking the Phoenix PD exam on Thursday... wish me Luck!

-Zaki
 
PIA777
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 3:59 pm

What is their pension pay like? If someone wanted to retire after they
worked 20 years or so. Can they live comfortably? I think most
Police are allowed to take pension after 20 years, right?

PIA777
GO CUBS!!
 
IAH777
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 4:01 pm

I think I'm somewhere in the low $40K's. Almost double that with the side job.
 
ryangooner
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 4:27 pm

Just to put a UK perspective on it, starting wages here are roughly the same, £21K for a rookie rising to £30K for 10 years service in the same rank. Not that good a wage for the work we do and it definately doesnt get you far living around London!

Ryan
ooh to ooh to be ooh to be a gooner!
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 5:28 pm

Quoting PIA777 (Reply 12):
What is their pension pay like? If someone wanted to retire after they
worked 20 years or so. Can they live comfortably?

Alaska Law Enforcement are fortunate enough to be in Alaska's exceptional retirement system. Several of the retired local police officers and Alaska State Troopers I know average over US$48K per year in retirement. No other benefits though, no health care, etc. They can retire after 20 years service.

Most will take another job after retirement from law enforcement to supplement their retirement - most are around the age of 45-50 when they retire.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
asuflyer05
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:32 pm

I'm thinking about changing fields and moving into law enforcement as well. The money seems to be the only thing holding me back as it would be a bit of a cut.

Quoting CO7e7 (Reply 11):
I'm also taking the Phoenix PD exam on Thursday... wish me Luck!

Let me know how it goes. If I move forward with become a LEO it would be out in Arizona. Take a look at the Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert, DPS, and MCSO agencies. I've read online that many of the west valley towns have excellent departments.

Matt
 
gkirk
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:33 pm

ANCflyer lies....he isn't in the police, and the only thing he patrols is the corridors in the ANC old folks home!
 old 
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drewfly
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sat Oct 21, 2006 11:33 pm

In Boston city cops start at 40k, however there have been more experienced officers who have brought in over 200k with overtime.
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AirCop
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sun Oct 22, 2006 1:20 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 15):
. No other benefits though, no health care, etc. They can retire after 20 years service.

Not a good deal; California Highway Patrol retirement is 3% per year at 50. Say you worked 25 years then you would get 75% of your salary in retirement, and medical is included.
 
VonRichtofen
Topic Author
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sun Oct 22, 2006 3:35 am

Wow I didn't know it varies THAT much depending on location. I guess it's a matter of local governments. Though I think with the crap police put up with on a day to day basis they should earn at least $50k/year starting. Here in Canada the average is around $45k-$50k/year for first year and it raises every year for 5 years. After 5 years in the force the salaries are around $70k/year. I believe more senior officers/detectives earn close to $100k/year. Not totally sure about the last one there.

Kris
 
AirCop
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sun Oct 22, 2006 5:29 am

Quoting Asuflyer05 (Reply 16):
Take a look at the Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert, DPS, and MCSO agencies.

Matt;
Got relatives working for both Gilbert and DPS. Both enjoy their respective agencies. Avoid MCSO like the plague, they treat their people like crap, and then you have the Sheriff Joe factor.
 
CO7e7
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Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:39 pm

RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:05 am

Quoting Asuflyer05 (Reply 16):
Let me know how it goes.

Will do.

Until Mid-December, i will be taking about 6 police exams. 4 Ohio depts. and 2 out of state. Including an interview with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

There's one thing i'm not sure about though, and i really hope some of the experienced cops here (such as ANC and AirCop) could offer me some advice.

Which is the best place for a guy my age (23) to start at? A big city such as CLE and PHX or a tiny little Ohio town?

For me the pay is not a problem as long as i become a cop.

-Zaki
 
ACB777
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:16 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3):
Ahhh, what the hell: between my US Army retirement and my current salary situation, I'm over US$100K per annum cash in the bank. But that's with 30 years between the two jobs.

Do you still get pay from the army even though you're retired? I thought you get pension after you retire.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:49 am

Quoting ACB777 (Reply 23):
Do you still get pay from the army even though you're retired? I thought you get pension after you retire.

 scratchchin 

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 3):
US Army retirement

It's a pension. . . . paid by the US Dod . . . for life.
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ACB777
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:55 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 24):
It's a pension. . . . paid by the US Dod . . . for life.

I know why you were confused. I forgot to insert the word "not". I didn't know the US DOD pays retirees of the US army for life? Is there a certain age you have to retire from the US army?
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sun Oct 22, 2006 5:18 pm

Quoting ACB777 (Reply 25):
Is there a certain age you have to retire from the US army?

Yes and No: Yes there is a maximum age, and no there's no certain age. It's based on time in the Active service. Usually, after 20 years Active Federal Military Service, you're good to go. Some go longer. I did 24. The longer you go, the higher the retirement pay. It includes access to military stores (Commissary, Exchange, etc), health care, and a host of other tertiary benefits as well.

The National Guard and Army Reserve do not get the same benefit - unless they also complete 20 Active Years. It gets complicated with them. Usually, after 20 years in the Reserve services you begin drawing a modest retirement at age 62.

It's all paid out of the Department of Defense Budget howevre.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
L-188
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RE: Police Salaries In The US

Sun Oct 22, 2006 5:26 pm

Quoting ACB777 (Reply 25):
Is there a certain age you have to retire from the US army?

It used to be 54. Which is why the old max enlistment age was 34, because obviously that was longest you could wait to enlist and still retire.
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