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Seattle Police Department scheming to steal cops from the shrinking NYPD

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Seattle Police Department scheming to steal cops from the shrinking NYPD

BY MICHAEL WHITE

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

April 4th 2008

 

pf_police.jpg

 

The Seattle Police Department is scheming to steal cops from the shrinking NYPD - paying for a huge billboard along the West Side Highway and papering bus shelters with recruiting ads.

 

The pitch is simple: Seattle pays its new hires nearly twice as much as the NYPD.

 

And if that's not enough, they'll throw in another $5,000 to cover moving expenses.

 

"We get people who go, 'Whoa! It's going to take me a long time [in the NYPD] to get to ... even your beginning salary,'" Seattle police recruiter Monique Avery told the Daily News. "And our cost of living is a lot less."

 

NYPD cops and other New Yorkers who want to protect and serve the Emerald City don't even have to leave here to take the Seattle Police Department exam.

 

The written test is being offered April 19 at New York University. Of the 200 people who have signed up, about 20 are city cops, Avery said.

 

Seattle pays its police recruits $47,334 a year and the annual salary rises to a maximum base pay of $67,045 in just six years.

 

NYPD recruits get a paltry $25,100 annual salary while they are in the academy. Their pay jumps to $32,800 after graduation and tops out at $59,588 after seven years.

 

Considering it costs about 20% more to live in New York City than Seattle, NYPD officers would have to earn about $80,000 to maintain the same standard of living as in Seattle.

 

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has blamed the department's starting salary for hurting recruitment. The pay scale was imposed by an arbitration panel in 2005 after the city and police union couldn't reach a deal. Kelly also must cut the police force by 1,000 cops because of looming budget shortfalls - resulting in the smallest department in 16 years.

 

"There's a long history of other departments hoping to recruit the Finest - and the Finest are at the NYPD," Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne said. Browne said the NYPD's "low starting salary remains a problem, no question about it."

 

Seattle officials made a smaller attempt to recruit in New York City last year - and their results were so good that they launched this year's larger campaign, Avery said.

 

The billboard along the West Side Highway near 54th St. was unveiled a few days ago, Avery said. It shows a Seattle police officer's shoulder patch and department crest.

 

"A Job Like No Other" the billboard declares in big, bold letters above the address for the department's recruiting Web site, Seattlepolicejobs.com.

 

"It does sound like a dream," said an NYPD cop who graduated from the Police Academy in January. "I would definitely take the test if I saw that sign."

 

"I love being a city cop and pretty much everyone I know does too," said the cop, who asked not to be identified. "The only problem is everyone works a second or third job."

 

Avery insisted the billboard and other advertisements are not aimed only at NYPD cops.

 

"We are not coming to New York to specifically target NYPD officers. I pray that they get a huge raise," she said. "They are definitely welcome to apply, but we are encouraging everyone who is interested to apply."

 

The city's largest police union said the only way the NYPD can fend off recruiters from other departments is to raise the city's top pay.

 

"Our veteran officers don't have to travel across country for higher top pay because virtually every other police department in the metropolitan area offers a top pay of $20,000 to $40,000 more than the NYPD," said Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch.

 

"Can anyone blame them for leaving?"

 

SEATTLE vs. NEW YORK

Murders in 2007

24 - 496

Population

582,000 - 8.2 million

Cops

1,200 - 35,000

Police starting pay

$47,334 - $25,100

Top base police pay

$67,045 - $59,588

Median household income

$49,297 - $45,343

Median cost of single family home

$386,900 - $469,700

Annual precipitation

37.1 inches - 47 inches

Suicide rate

13.1 - 6.2

City nickname

The Emerald City - The Big Apple

Police department nickname

None - The Finest

Famous screen cops

Martin Crane, father of Frasier Crane - Detective Andy Sipowicz, Kojak, Cagney and Lacey, John McClane, Barney Miller

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Yea, i remember that from last year too, i was out helping my girlfriend at the time street canvas at various locations in manhattan, and i saw the banners on the sides of construction scaffolding and in at least one subway station.

 

- Andy

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It's weird how these departments come into New York and recruit. They boast on how the pay is better. If the pay is so much better, then why the hell are they having trouble recruiting in their own city/town. It seems like no matter how much more they pay, their local citizens still do not want the job. They figure lets go recruit in New York where they want the job and the higher pay. Personally I have no problem with it. Maybe it will get this city to finally pay these guys more money.

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Wow. Good advertising though. Hey, just spread the word. Want a good paying job, fly 3000 miles to Seattle to be a cop. Pays more than NYPD. So what you waiting for.

 

Ya, uh, no.

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Seriously. We need our damn cops. The twin towers went down, the empire state buliding is being targeted, and a bomb just went off with the police supervisions anyways at the Navy recruiting center. WE NEED OUR COPS.

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Seriously. We need our damn cops. The twin towers went down, the empire state buliding is being targeted, and a bomb just went off with the police supervisions anyways at the Navy recruiting center. WE NEED OUR COPS.

 

Said that right.

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Seriously. We need our damn cops. The twin towers went down, the empire state buliding is being targeted, and a bomb just went off with the police supervisions anyways at the Navy recruiting center. WE NEED OUR COPS.

 

You get what you pay for!

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