Claims about the quality of pay are irrelevant without context. Rather than shout past each other, it might be worthwhile to ask:I have thoughts but really need to grade papers. In the meantime, I'm curious what others have to say. What do you think?
1. Based on the backgrounds of the cops you have worked with, would you say that many of them were well-paid in policing compared to what they could have made in other jobs?
2. If you believe that police should be well-paid, it makes sense that a lot of people will be paid less than cops. Who? Mental hospital orderlies don't get shot at, but they do get spat on and attacked as much as many cops, and they have to spend time looking up junkies' asses. Most of them also don't have sweet pension plans. That, of course, is just one of many possible examples.
3. Peter, in your book you try to demythologize police work: pointing out that most cops don't get shot at, that the job is usually boring, and that the majority of people of average intelligence, temperament and physical ability can do the job competently. Given that you don't seem to think policing requires specialized skills or extensive previous education, why should cops be paid more? (I know you haven't made that point in this conversation, but it's your blog, I figure I should make a question just for you- though others are certainly welcome to answer).
4. Okay, another in response to something Peter has said. You've written that you believe cops should be paid better in order to attract better candidates. But given the budget situation in most American cities, the fact that most people here will argue that most current cops do their jobs just fine, and the law of diminishing returns, isn't this throwing money down a hole?
December 12, 2009
Pay police more?
Stilgar, in a comment, raises some excellent questions:
Labels: police pay