Port Authority of New York and Jersey is not a bad place to work. They run all the airports and most of the bridges. I got to say, I'm a little jealous that if I were a Port Authority Police Officer, I would be making $86,467 in base pay. Still, I wouldn't switch back. Police officers do risk more than professors. Plus, they don't get summers off.
You can check out all the Port Authority salaries online (search under public safety). And overtime? How can you make over $120K in overtime!?
There are a lot of good police officers risking their lives and working hard for too little money in Baltimore and other poor cities around America. Baltimore City police start around $41,000. These officers need more money. Most police need to be paid more (sorry my Long Island brethren, I think you're paid just about right).
Police should be paid more than sanitation workers and firefighters. Unlike the latter two jobs, most big-city police departments are well below their budgeted staffing levels. That's why Baltimore had to go Puerto Rico looking for cops (they found some, too).
Suffolk County has a starting salary of about $60,000 and top salary after 5 years about $100,000. And that's not including overtime. Plus, compared to policing in a poor rough city, the job is safer (and let's be honest, easier--though there are some poor rough parts of Long Island).
The result? No shortage of qualified applicants. You have to pay something like $100 just to take the civil service exam. You and 29,000 others.
Is $100,000 too much for a police officer? I don't think so. And you might notice one thing about well-paying police departments like the Port Authority and Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. You rarely if ever hear about scandals coming of these police departments. If you pay men and women like professionals, they're more likely to act like professionals. That shouldn't be a surprise. At some level you get what you pay for.