TheCosts Associated with Hiring a Police Officer week 5 discussion 1 response 2
Police personnel cost can be as much as 75% of the operating budget of a policedepartment. Do you think that this is money well spent? Should we ask our law enforcement agencies to do more with less? Shouldthe technological advances in law enforcement replace physical policeofficers? What impact would this have on the community? Support yourassertions with information from a scholarly source.
Our discussion first, then theindividuals response nee to tell the bad and good of post, list references
he Lamar Police Department spends88% of its budget on all of the police personnel. This includes officestaff, animal control officers and code enforcement officers. This includesall attached benefits and insurance for 25 people. This is average pay of$56,689.24 for all employees, even the office of the Chief.
Over the years, I have seen morethan 75 people come and go from our department. Many move to the larger citieswhere pay is higher, but so is the cost of living. This same condition isdiscussed in the article concerning New Jersey Police Officers making a largeamount of money, but some is lost in the cost of living (Megerian,2010).
Many years ago, we raised the basesalary above $36,000.00 per year as a starting wage to become competitive inthe job market. This money was well spent as applications began comingin. But the problem was the officers were either in trouble or underinvestigation with their current employer, the big cities, or not trained atall. We have become and will probably remain a training agency for largerdepartments unless another avenue of retention can be obtained ordeveloped.
I would argue that money to keepthose with training and experience is vital to a police department. Thecost for training new recruits and maintaining police officers is high. The Chief of Police with Lamar Police Department advised that it costs$10,000.00 just to equip a new recruit. There is added costs for trainingtime in the Field Training Process which is 16 weeks long. The costs areincurred as we pay for a full-time officer as they are in training with ourdepartment, so in essence we have two officers doing one person’s job. This should be revisited in the budgeting process as a prohibitive cost to ourdepartment. But, the opposite consideration takes into account thelimited access we have to qualified candidates.
When considering the costs, one mustsee that the people working in the department are there for a reason. They have been trained and are qualified to do the job. Their job is noteasy and assumes many risks that are not taken by other employees in other jobassignments. When considering Job Safety Analysis with our insurancecompany, the risks in most call responses require a full sheet of paper. Most JSA’s for other employees of the city do not require a full page for onejob. The level of knowledge, training requirements, and risks managementskills that must be maintained by police officers requires that pay be inaccordance with these levels. Several years ago, a wage-comparabilitystudy (Mikesell, 2011) was completed in our department. We werefound to be repulsively low compared to many agencies throughout thestate. The pay was adjusted and stability was achieved for a fewyears. This has since changed as officers are looking for higher payagain.
Police departments are limited inthe amount that budgets can grow. The populace can only support so muchand will eventually require leadership to reduce or at the very least limitthis budget as seen in Tempe Arizona (Boehnke, 2010).
Technology will assume some tasksnormally completed by law enforcement officers. Computers completeanalysis and reports that were traditional completed by staff. Camerasand unmanned surveillance equipment can monitor locations of high importancethat were traditional manned by security or patrolled by police. This inturn can reduce the amount of needed police officers.
It is important that the public seethe police and have positive interactions with them. They must see thepolice serving the public. When this occurs, the public is much more aptto pay the bill that is required. The interaction with the public is at thecore of community policing (Swanson, Territo, & Taylor, 2012). When considering the impact of technology being used to replace policeofficers, the community interaction with police officers becomes a more limitedaspect. Services and contacts would be more limited and may have anopposing affect to the goals of community-policing.
Boehnke,M. (2010, January 14). Tempe Considers Laying Off Police Officers to Cut Costs.The Arizona Republic. Retrieved fromhttp://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/01/14/20100114tr-pdbudget0120.html
Megerian,C. (2010, September 19). N.J. Police Salaries Rank Highest in Nation withMedian Pay of $90,672. NJ.com. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/09/nj_police_salaries_rank_highes.html
Mikesell,J. L. (2011). Fiscal Administration: Analysis and Applications for thePublic Sector. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Swanson,C. R., Territo, L., & Taylor, R. W. (2012). Police Administration:Structures, Processes, and Behavior (Vol. 8th Edition). Upper Saddle, NewJersey: Pearson Education, Inc. Retrieved fromhttp://online.vitalsource.com/books/9781256420507