As you can probably tell by now (if you are a return reader of this blog) I tend to take issue with meda types who have never or could never do what I do but like to incite their readers/viewers that the cops are the boogeymen.
I am a cop in Massachusetts, when you compare cost of living with the salary of local police departments we are woefully underpaid for the duties expected nay DEMANDED of us. One of the very few ways we can legitimately provide for our families is testifying at trial and taking paid details (directing traffic at roadside construction sites) I am aware that many other states use flagmen but in those states the officers are paid commesurate with the cost of living.
I don’t really know the ins and outs of the specific case in question below but in every sector of society there are people who try to screw the system. That being the case then people like the columnist should not paint all officers with a broad brush and use innuendo designed to make all detail officers look like bunko artists
It seems to me that she is pandering to those homeowners who want nay DEMAND professional, efficient police work provided at cut rate cost without reguard for the cop who goes into work day after day for their shift and then to make ends meet goes out and works what amounts to a second job. Often missing out on family life, home repairs, their kids various sports, parties etc…
The guy in the article recieved work for a promise to pay for said work. He then decides not to pay and makes unsubstantiated accusations. And it is taken as bible by the reporter.
As cops we are routinely squeezed out of time off (in my department if theres more than 3 officers scheduled for time off no one else can take the day off) this is so that staffing levels are safe and the public remains defended.We are provided with no way of making any extra cash to pay bills or heaven forbid take our wife out for a night on the town. That is if we can get the night off. There are very few ways of accumulating days off. So you end up with overworked, overstressed, underpaid and underappreciated officers patrolling the streets. Add to the mix anyone you arrest tells you all the way to the police station that he is going to
- Sue you
- Fuck you up
- Get even the next time he or she sees you when you are not working
- The list goes on…..
I say to Miss Margery Eagan that instead of demonizing the police and using anecdotal information to rile up her readers. She should embark on a campaign of paying cops what they are worth for the services they provide. I’d gladly give up the detail system in order to get a fair and equitable base pay.
The devil’s in the police details
All you cops leaving me nasty voice mails about my criticizing police details? Why bother? We’ll be long dead. Details will still be around.
All you Regular Joes driven nuts by seeing cops dozing in their cruisers in the “Tip” tunnel at 4 a.m.? By cops on cell phones directing traffic? By cops just standing there, staring into the manhole, and staring into the manhole, Dunkin’s regular in hand?
Get used to it.
Paid details may be costing your town a fortune. Teachers laid off. Programs cut.
But nobody’s ever going to fix this mess. And when you ask politicians about the fairness here, it’s like they’ve been brainwashed. Drank the Kool-Aid. Lost their minds. Or all three.
Case in point: Gloucester lawyer Michael Faherty is now battling local police over a bill for a paid road detail.
In May he hired an officer for a road site. The officer showed an hour and 15 minutes late, said Faherty, costing him money as the other workers stood around, waiting. The officer left after two hours and, according to department paperwork, then worked a second detail for Keyspan.
Both Keyspan and Faherty were billed for two eight-hour details for the same cop – $320 for each job, or $640 – plus two 10 percent administration fees.
But Faherty refused to pay more than $160. The contract specifies an eight-hour minimum for major road construction, which Faherty contends this was not. Plus, he questions the legitimacy of paying eight-hours’ pay for two hours’ work.
“No one should have to hire someone with no recourse on performance,” says Faherty. “Can they show up whenever they want? But their attitude was, pay it, or else. I just said . . . or else.”
Now police have charged him -criminally. Faherty is fighting back and considering suing the town.
“And I’m not planning on losing,” he says.
But when you talk to local politicians about it, it’s: what’s the big deal? It’s in the contract, isn’t it?
Says Steve Magoon, the town’s chief administrative officer (noting that the eight-hour minimum preceded his tenure), “In these times when we’re not flush with money, it’s a difficult situation, but if the union perceives something as a benefit in the contract, to change you have to negotiate it.”
Carolyn Kirk, who’s running for mayor, totally danced around the question with more, “if it’s in the contract,” etc. But should this be happening? “I need to review the contract . . . it has to be negotiated . . .” But what do you think about eight hours’ pay for two hours of work? “I don’t negotiate in the media.”
At least her mayoral opponent, Jim Destino, took a stand. “There has to be accountability. From what I read in the paper, the same officer was on two details at the same time. It’s about being fair,” he said. “I think the vast majority of patrolmen see it the same way.”
Question to Jack Foote, patrolmen’s union president: So, is this fair? “I think it’s a contractual thing that has been in place for well over 30 years.”
But can he understand why people are so upset about deals such as these? “I don’t know who’s upset,” said Foote.
Well there’s me, for one. I’m hysterical, obviously. And then there are all those Regular Joes who can’t afford their property taxes or $175 a pop for their kids to play high school sports.
Note to Gloucester voters: I’d go with Destino, if I were you.
Faherty, meanwhile, says response to his case has been “overwhelming, but very cautionary. People don’t want to get involved.” Why not? “Well, this is a small town. Just, you know, fear of policemen.”
Are you a big scary policeman, I asked Foote. “Maybe a few years ago. Now I’m an old fat guy,” replied Foote, who at least has an excuse here: He runs the union. But the rest of us are just pathetic pushovers.