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NYPD Facing Loss of 3,000 Veteran Officers

August 26, 2013  | 

Photo by Paul Clinton.
Photo by Paul Clinton.
The New York Police Department is bracing to lose as many as 3,000 officers hired 20 years ago under the Safe City, Safe Streets program who are now eligible for retirement.

The losses will be somewhat offset by the 1,246 recruits sworn in last month, as well as another academy class in January. About 80 percent of NYPD recruits retire after 20 years of service, according to agency data reported by the New York Post.

City Councilman Peter Vallone told The Post the expected mass retirement could lead to higher rates of violent crime. "I think people should be extremely worried," he said.

Comments (41)

Displaying 1 - 41 of 41

Retired NY Boss @ 8/26/2013 4:38 PM

Maybe if the City Council and the current Democrat Mayoral candidates tried to be a little more supportive this wouldn't be as big a problem. I did 26 yrs, the direction things are going, you'd be foolish to stay a minute longer than necessary.

JOHN @ 8/26/2013 4:56 PM

The idea that a 20 YEAR Retirement and immediate PENSION is obscene to taxpayers. Maybe if you were in a COMBAT zone (i.e. Iraq, Afghanistan), otherwise, no cop or any other "public servant" should be allowed to put in 20, retire by 50 and live till 80. This practice must end or it'll collapse our society.

Boston @ 8/26/2013 5:19 PM

Doing 20 years on the NYPD is like doing 30.

Brad @ 8/26/2013 5:19 PM

I agree and would not exclude the military (I am a veteran). We cannot afford three police forces - one active and two retired. Officers deserve fair compensation; but 20 and out worked when pay was low and life expectancy was under 60.

Bluevixen @ 8/26/2013 5:51 PM

@Ben and @John, how can either of you say that 20 years of working as a cop does not warrant a full pension retirement? And to say "it worked when pay was low and life expectancy was under 60" is ludicrous. Back when the pension plan was established officers were dogging bullets fired by 8-year-olds, and the streets were full of "wannabe" gangsters looking to make a name for them self by shooting a cop or trying to run then down with their vehicles. So in all reality, it is just like "Boston" said, "doing 20 years as NYPD is like doing 30" and I would like to add that that's anywhere based on amount of violence that cops have to deal with today. So "Brad and John" how about you do a ride along with a cop before you decide they don't deserve to retire at 20 if they want to so they still have some time to enjoy life with their family.

George @ 8/26/2013 5:57 PM

John and Brad. Let's address you misunderstandings. John, there are places (many) in NYC that would make going to Iraq and Afghanistan look like a PTA meeting. The 20 year pension, to which they more than deserve, is not one you are going to live abundantly on the rest of your life. You will need another job and pension to really retire. How far can either of you run after some dirt bag down the street and alley and actually catch him (cops are not robots). And, that is nothing compared to the stress the job brings. Actually you are lucky some one wants to do it for you. Brad, I'm a veteran with 27 military years (retired) and 30 state law enforcement years (retired). I'd like for you to look me up and try and tell me I don't deserve either of my retirements. Don't judge a man unless you have walked in his shoes or are at least willing to try.

fernandez @ 8/26/2013 6:26 PM

Come to the island of Puerto Rico where you must do 30 ,40 for new recruits with no retirement benefits no social security and the lowest pay ever. To us 20 year retire ment could be blessing. Many of us don't get to see the first retirement for which we must beg and wait for years, I agree with many of our brothers in blue.walk in our shoes to see what it feels like.

Ken @ 8/26/2013 6:27 PM

I guess not everybody gets it. I did 26 years and retired because a promised promotion didn't appear. I am also a veteran of the 70's and did 6 years and back then you could retire after 20 years and get a military pension, free medical and base commisary priviledges for life as well as spouse. Most police forces don't get that today.

Capt. Crunch @ 8/26/2013 6:29 PM

Well said George. 20 years of doing anything is long enough.

John @ 8/26/2013 6:52 PM

I guess if Brad and John Think the retirement is so great they should have joined the force. I put in my 20

Peter @ 8/26/2013 8:14 PM

I worked 26 years for the prison system from minimum security to gladiator school...

My respects for the NYPD and all enforcement, who have to deal the lowest scum on earth. Your pensions are well deserved...

Peter @ 8/26/2013 8:29 PM

Sorry; "Law enforcement"

Tom @ 8/26/2013 9:00 PM

When the private sector was doing great before the economy crashed, no one wanted to become a cop. They smirked at the NYPD cops standing on the corners, in the rain, working long hours, crazy shifts and having to deal with all the low lifes in the city. Now that there huge bonuses are gone and some, their jobs, all of the sudden we have it good. Lets see you go to work like I do in the projects of NYC everyday and worry if your going home to your family, or worse, if the police department is going to back you up if you have to take police action. You want the pension, take the test. Stop complaining. Were supporting a whole nation of people on public assistance who never worked a day in their life and receive FREE everything from birth do death. HOW COME NOBODY EVER COMPLAINS ABOUT THIS!! At least the cops worked 20 years!

JOHN @ 8/26/2013 9:04 PM

Valid points all. But just like Infantry in the Army, Not ALL departments are urban melting pots with constant dangers. Maybe 5-10% have stress filled beats. Most cops man a cubicle but want the prestige of the beat. Remember the military "only" gets 50% of base after putting in 20 (plus TriCare), there are states and cities that are paying 90% base for retirees and allowing OT to be factored in as well as AL & SL cash-ins. I love cops & fire like kinfolk, BUT, NO one, no General, NO politician, should get a pension greater than 50K at the public trough.

Pete @ 8/26/2013 9:48 PM

I have been a cop for fifteen years and looking forward to a pension is great so if they have done 20 and are eligible then more power to them. Now having said that I can see in the future how pensions will slowly go away. Most businesses do not offer them and government is realizing why; how can you afford to pay someone who is retired while at the same time paying the person who is now filling that job. A good 401K or similar along with good pay and benefits will probably be the jobs to shoot for in the future; no one wants another Detroit (and possibly Chicago).

Tschako @ 8/26/2013 9:58 PM

First, sticking to the subject, NY had 20 years to plan for this. That's the deal they made, and those guys deserve the retirement they signed on for.
Second, John: Get off your high horse and sermonizing. Our society will not collapse over this, and besides you are not among the LEO's, and don't know what you're talking about. Lastly, and I can't resist rubbing your ignorant nose in this; I retired from law enforcement at 43, am now 74, and enjoying every dime of my retirement. Eat your heart out.

Dr bob hillsman.m.d. @ 8/27/2013 12:06 AM

Front page news TWO days ago...DO NO WORK AT ALL-NONE and under current Obama MCAID, section 8 housing allowance. food credit card, free cell (oops-Obamaphone), aid to dep . children, school food program for children, etc. etc., you receive benefits EQUAL to ~ $32,000.00 per year and pay NONE of it in taxes!!! This in an article talking about RAISING the "minimum" wage. What ever happened to the work to welfare plans, etc. ? IF COPS DO THEIR 20 yrs. + they are the problem.??? Don't think so but can see where the regular pension program will have to end soon as 30 + can get 90% + of your top 3 earning years and this one for FD + PD will cause city bankruptcies...BUT u need to make any changes as employees are hired, not during their career!!

TheRookie @ 8/27/2013 12:48 AM

The newer generation just don't get it. It's dam dangerous out there anywhere. I started as a knuckle dragger. That's what I was hired to do on the day. Clean up the shittiest parts with a solid partner & crew. Had a duty weapon, handcuffs, baton, & flashlight. Mace & CNS was the new things. Having a brick for communication had just become the regular norm. No little fancy tools/toys, MDTs, cameras, computers, or anything like today. 20 years was/is a lifetime 20 x over. I did 21 years and retired medically only after being attacked by a crack head, tearing my knee out, & getting a staph infection created by the scumbag. I have 3 grown sons who wouldn't even consider the thought of the business. This after having a Grand-Dad, Uncles, & Father in the business. John & Brad, you are wrong. 20 n done still ain't fun. Just the facts man, just the facts.

plato's playdough @ 8/27/2013 1:54 AM

Sometimes I wonder if certain inflammatory comments are injected for the sole purpose of "taking the temperature" of respondents. I also wonder if it isn't time for a remake of a couple of movies, let's say, a storyline incorporating the basic themes of Soylent Green and The Island (2005.) That would perk up a few ears.

Kevin @ 8/27/2013 5:24 AM

I am starting my 31st year in law enforcement sometimes not sure I was going to even get to 20 years. I know in our state if you do 20 years you are lucky to get 50% so it is really not a great pension. And as far as social security we do not get that. So hopefully you had a decent 401 plan or something else to help you along!We pay into our own pensions and we are self supporting so get all the facts before you make your comments sitting behind the computer screen!

LT Dan @ 8/27/2013 5:51 AM

I signed on the dotted line 30 years ago. I made more money at first. Then my friends in the business world passed me by in salary. But my agreement was do the job and get the pension.
Take a look at TARP by Bush and the Auto bailout by Obama. Failing businesses were not allowed to suffer the consequences of mismanagement.
Common stockholders lost their retirement while preferred stockholders profited from the "recovery".

This bogus concept of no accountability to the wealthy and reward to those who don't work for not working is what is going to fail the system.

Social security is being raided by those getting "Crazy Checks".

NY Officers have fulfilled the commitment they made. Now it is time for them to move on. Why do they let you retire after 20, 25, or 30 years? Because you should!!!!

Jon @ 8/27/2013 5:53 AM

Amen Kevin, we pay into our own pension system, we are self supporting and do not use any taxpayer dollars besides our own. Yes we are taxpayers too! We have a 25 year/age 48 system here that has recently been changed to a higher age. Now in my 27th year, I know that when i retire from this job, I will have to get another career. My years of sacrifice to fund my pension like many others makes the pension well deserved.

Charlie @ 8/27/2013 5:57 AM

As someone who has studied police retirement programs, let me say this. Most 20 and out programs are the result of police unions. The vast majority of police defined benefit plans are 25 and 55, or 30 regardless of age and many of those require some contribution from the officer. Many non-union departments are moving away from defined benefit plans and going with 401(k) type plans, making law enforcement less attractive an option in those jurisdictions. As an officer, I think I deserve whatever I was told I would get when I got hired. If NYC can't afford twenty and out any longer, then renegotiate and do away with it for new hires. The truth of the matter is many retired NYC cops manage to live relatively well, they just don't try and do it in NYC or the surrounding area. I live in Tennessee and we have cops from up north and down south both that come here and live like kings with a 50k a year pension.

Roger @ 8/27/2013 7:00 AM

I agree with Tom no one worried about LEO pensions until the econmy got bad. The truth is most of us don't fully retire because even if you do "retire" you can't live on the pension along and must get another job anyway.

JD @ 8/27/2013 7:30 AM

This has been a great arguement from someone who has not served, I am coming up on my 30 Years in Law Enforcement and getting ready to retire, I was in the army/army reserve/National Guard for 37 years before retiring out last November I wont collect until 60 for the Military, I served and was activated 2 year for OIF Iraq. I earned and Paid for my Police Retirement with injuries and health issues that only affect those of us on the job, you will say that is part of the job, and now that it comes to us receiving our retirement you choke. Typical of someone who has not done my Job for a year not the least 30 year.

Kevin @ 8/27/2013 8:19 AM

I'm a volunteer firefighter so I work closely with my brothers in blue and compensation comes up every now and again. One thing I know is that keeping a quality LEO on the force for 20 years actually saves the locality a boatload of money in training, insurance costs and just the experience one has gained that cannot be taught unless they have been on the job. So what may seem like "only 20 years" to some people is a whole hell of a lot of money saved by the city and county as well as a darn good amount of time that is measured in service that most cant begin to understand unless they have given it. Also let's be real, long gone are the days where someone stayed at their job for 30 + years both in the public and private sector. Finally this article speaks to the 3000 LEOs hired 20 years ago. Let's not forget what NY was like then and what it is now. I'm surprised it took just 20 years to clean up the mess. Hats off to those 3000 who deserve now to enjoy life with their families.

wm louie @ 8/27/2013 10:22 AM

Law Enf Retirement for NYC area officers tend to be so-so if you chose to live the the same area where you have worked all of your "work-life" ! On the other hand, I knew of quite a few "1811's & 1801's (Federal Officers) that "made their bones" of the various streets of LA, Chicago, Dallas & Houston and try to "angle for the retirement stations of Boise, ID, and Cheyenne, Wyo. (Jackalope Country-hehehe). It seems to me that retirement planning is the problem. Besides, some guys get run out of the house by the "wife"/girl-friend after the 1st 2 years of retirement.

Frank @ 8/27/2013 11:41 AM

To John who does not think Law Enforcement should get a pension after 20yrs of service, I served 24yrs on a big city PD in NY State and was forced to retire due to injury from the performance of duty. Today I would have 30yrs of service if still working. I collect my pension but am now totally disabled & cannot work any job. Walk in our shoes before you pass judgment mister!!

Brent @ 8/27/2013 2:49 PM

Yeah brilliant idea. Make law enforcement retirements less attractive. One of these days some of the citizens of this country are going to pick up a phone and dial 911 and no one is going to respond. Why you ask? Because no one worth their weight will want to do this job anymore because it wont be worth the stress, risk to life or risk of injury, divorces, broken families etc.. I started my career in 1995 making just over $8 per hour. I sure as hell didn't come into this profession for the love of money, but I did do it because I wanted to serve people. I can say I will have earned every dime of my 20 year retirement. We have applicants today because of a poor enconomy, but for most of them this is not a 'calling" its a paycheck. And when the well runs dry or the financial "boon" (i.e. our plush 20 year retirement - saracsm intenteded) of law enforcement goes away, society will get the officer they deserve, which will be none or one that really doesnt give a crap.

John @ 8/27/2013 3:59 PM

Good discussion. There are exceptions to every statement. Anectdotal stories can counter any position. You all must remember that there is no STANDARDIZATION for police & fire pensions (unlike the military & civil service on the federal level). Some cops pay 5, 8 0r 10% in pension contributions, some pay nothing as its union negotiated. Some departments do 20 yr retirements, some require 25 or even 30. Some states more easily grant disability retirements, others don't. Some low crime departments, know the civilians by name on their beat, not the same for the big cities. Some cops are overpaid, political and over pensioned, others, definitely not. My "sermonizing" about no one getting more than a 50K pension, I stand by. If you want more in retirement, don't have a house or kids you can't afford. And, for God sakes, don't pretend to be military when you're not. You have a sacred trust in society that stands on its own merit and performance.

tbow426 @ 8/28/2013 11:24 AM

Twenty years of seeing the worst things people can do to each other is enough. Even the small town cop sees more dead and mangled bodies from car wrecks then the normal person sees in a lifetime. It has an effect and some handle it better than others.

JD @ 8/30/2013 10:53 AM

John all most all officers pay for a portion of their retirement and most never get to spend their half they made before the die. Cops do not die of old age they die of stress induced illness. I could easily do your job however, I am certain you could never do mine. Call your mom next time so 300 lb naked man is kicking down your door and give me your address so I can return 2cents you paid of my wage you ungrateful whinny little girl. What do you think we carry guns around for to look tough? Its because in my 30 year over 3,500 officers were killed in the line of duty! If you were in front of me I would hit you so hard that my fist would come out the back of your head. You watch Oprah don't you and Jane Fonda is your hero-----and you are democrat!

JD @ 8/30/2013 11:05 AM

Let me set something straight-- I put 30 years in as an Officer. And somewhere in-between there I buried two good friends. Both left little kids behind and both laid their life on the line for a man they never meant. Cal-Pers has made back almost %70 of the investments they lost with the market crash that is a fact and is one of the most viable retirement institutions in the USA. So to the John's off the world know what you are talking about before you go off on some inflated rant only to have your ass handed to you along with the facts. Better yet pick up the phone and ask Cal-Pers. John you are just spewing out what you hear from others who like you have a huge mouth full of trash talk. I am glad I worked with real men who were kind hearted and tough. Not some black hearted sissy who sees a bogie man in every bush !

RETIRMENT IS PAROLE @ 8/30/2013 4:57 PM


bob leo retired @ 8/31/2013 2:33 PM

john:When I entered the Academy after getting out of the military many years ago we were told that we get a 20 year pension because some of us will be killed in the line of duty , others will have heart conditions, some will die from heart attacks or related stress and we do not live as long as others on other jobs. So we were told at our swearing that is how they figure the 20 pension. I am retired I have stress related issues, PTSD, and out of 20 friends who are cops, there are only three of us left and in not so great health. AS for the unions they are our lifeline for negotiations and if our employers didn't agree we wouldn't have the pension we have for such a dangerous career. I have been shot at several times and the stress is overpowering. I have retired and worked In FL. and here most depts. have 25 1/2 pay.
We accept the job and the danger, so next time JOHN when you are in trouble, call a firefighter. They have 20 1/2 pay. Now you can complain about them too.

terry @ 9/4/2013 12:16 PM

It has always bothered me that a politician can complaint that someone is over paid and bankrupting the country when they reach full retirement after 8 years of worthless work. Ya think that might be where the countries problem is?

Miguel @ 9/6/2013 2:28 PM

So, Is no one concerned by the fact? that the councilman said that the town should be worried. How can you say something like that, especially when there could be people who are scared of this loss. I do think police and military deserve compensation/pension for the duty they have served.

King Richard @ 1/21/2014 7:14 AM

I'm sooooo sick and tired of cops complaining. Nobody put a doggone gun to your heads saying u had to do the job. If u can't take the heat get out of the kitchen. I find most cops to be very lazy, unprofessional, and have the worlds worst attitude. Most cops act like criminals in a uniform. Lot of cops are soooo out of shape they expect: free handouts because they are in a uniform? Bulls•it. My uncle Wally is retired from the NYPD and he is fat, bald, racist and a drunk. Nobody talks to him because he is soooooo negative( typical cop). I think the NYPD should take all the inmates out of Rikers Island and put them all in a blue uniform. The job sucks it will turn u into a real miserable soul upon retirement if u don't commit suicide. That's all u are is a number, a bunch of " maggots" in a blue uniform!!!!!!!! Go broncos!!!!!

Tyronne paris @ 2/2/2014 9:41 AM

Hey king Richard your uncle wally is a racist?. remember that same racist was the one who probably had death tugging at his shoulder everyday. He was the one that chased an armed suspect through buildings in my hood in East New York while navigating around the puddles of urine and human diaharea left behind by one of the upstanding members of my community. He was the one who walked through three feet of snow to help deliver my sister in our bedroom when the fire department didn't show up. He was the one who locked the drug peddler dishing poison to our community. He was the one who locked up the guy robbing the old ladies in the elevator. He was the one who played handball with me and my friends with his gun belt on the ground that he trusted us. He is the one who gave up his holidays, and not enjoy xmas dinner with his family. Yes is a racist? he is the drunk, and so negative. I wonder why?. Your uncle is probably the one cop that did every thing above and beyond to help us.

ProudPO @ 4/6/2014 3:43 AM

Tyrone, you are the reason I became a Police Officer. For those that want and need my help, not for those that don't. I love reaching out to the kids. Just bending down putting my hat on them and watching their eyes light up makes a sometimes unbearable day, bearable.Thank you for restoring my faith.

Stan Sullivan @ 6/5/2014 12:21 PM

I was a 25 year veteran NYPD transferred at 4pm on the Friday before Thanksgiving. No disciplinary action taken against me. Evaluations always a 5. I am sure if I had protested a negative eval would have surfaced. So I was basically "Forced to retire". If the job treated it's veterans with rpoper respect, a lot of us would have stayed. I know I would still like to be "on the job".

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