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Stamford Police Unhappy with Top 101 City Earners Report

The list details Stamford's top 101 highest paid employees, with city police officers making up a majority of the list.

Stamford Police Association President Joseph Kennedy released a statement Thursday in reference to this recently published Stamford 101 Top Paid Employees. Kennedy took the opportunity to detail the department's displeasure with what they perceive to be skewed facts when referring to Stamford police officer pay.

His letter follows:

The portrayal of police overtime in the annual coverage of the city’s top 100 wage earners list is disingenuous and misleading.  The list intentionally misleads citizens by leaving out critical facts. The time has come to fix the list, making it more accurate and transparent for taxpayers.  

Here are the facts:

Much of the overtime Stamford officers earn is from extra duty pay, which is paid for by the businesses or organization using their services. Stamford’s Police extra duty program puts additional uniformed police presence on the street without cost to taxpayers.  This is critical as a visual deterrent to crime that just cannot be measured.

The City of Stamford’s treasury even earns a 16% administrative commission (or $1.2 million in 2010 and about $1.035 million in 2012, for example) on extra duty.

Stamford’s police department is understaffed by design, having lost some four dozen positions over the past six years, yet our city is consistently ranked one of the safest, most livable cities in America.  Let’s acknowledge that policing is a 24/7 job and to maintain public safety requires a minimum contingent of officers patrolling the city’s various neighborhoods.  

It is critical to point out that if the annual ranking excluded privately funded extra duty pay and ONLY considered taxpayer funded wages, the Board of Education, which eats up 62 percent of the city’s budget, takes over 48% of the top pay list, while police fall back to 35%, according to the 2011 ranking. There were more school administrators than police officers in the top 100 when only city wages were factored in.

In 2002 Stamford had 315 police officers and today has 46 less, or just 269 for the same number of patrol shifts and neighborhoods.  Bridgeport with a nearly identical population has 425 officers or 156 (36%) more cops than Stamford.  It’s a tribute we’ve kept Stamford one of America’s safest big cities considering that considerable manpower shortage.  I salute my fellow officers and police commanders for doing an excellent job with insufficient resources.

Faye Kay February 22, 2013 at 02:11 PM
Bravo Joe Kennedy and the Police Officers of the City of Stamford!!
George Stadel February 22, 2013 at 02:47 PM
Sgt. Kennedy left out a few facts. The extra duty pay is for work mandated by the City and the rates, number of police required, which police will be assigned, etc. are set by the City. It is therefore a tax on businesses, a very high tax that raises the cost of doing business in Stamford, to the detriment of other Stamford workers. If, as is more often than not the case, the work being done is for a City contract, the cost of this tax is included in the bid price, so it is paid by Stamford property owners. Of the $212,000 Sgt. Kennedy made last year, only 17.6% was for "extra duty". What was his base pay? Is what he was paid by the union included in this total? For number 1 on the list it was only 2.8% Overtime rules are complicated, resulting in an officer being paid for more than 30 hours in a single day, 8 of it at base rate, the rest at overtime rates, and he could be home sleeping for part of that day. Sgt. Kennedy, for example, can be paid by the union for doing union work during the same hours that he is being paid to do Police Dept. work.
Howard Kozinn February 22, 2013 at 03:10 PM
This is a complete joke. Don't you love watching the cops "working" overtime, barely directing traffic at $$$/hour while talking on their cell phones. Come on reps, stand up to this nonsense. Pretty soon the doctors and lawyers will be closing their practices and applying for police jobs.
Jason March 01, 2013 at 02:03 AM
This guy above (Howard Kozinn), doesn't have a clue about police work. A buddy, stop looking at the numbers and trying to judge. You probably are one of those wannabes who couldnt make it as a cop, and now your sour. Stop crying, I bet you don't talk that ish when one of those "over paid cops," have to protect u from today's thugs. When one of the "over paid cops," gives his or her life trying to protect a unapprechiating person like yourself, society, "people like u," can care less. You say, "come on Reps," they are your biggest freaking crooks. Do your research buddy, obvious you don't know too much of nothing.

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