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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Air Sick, Jul/Aug 02

(continued from page 1)

I am a recently retired sergeant with the New York Police Department and although we have an ongoing, friendly feud with the firefighters of the city, I stand with them and applaud your column in the April issue. The police officers and firefighters of New York deserve much more than the city is willing to offer. This has been the case for decades.

Neighboring departments recently won a 25 percent raise over five years, but NYPD was given 11 percent over the same period, exacerbating an already large disparity in salaries. When the mayor was told how pathetic it was to give the NYPD a little over 2 percent a year raise, the response from City Hall was that it wasn't that bad since we were getting 0 percent in each of the first two years, which made the raise 11 percent over the remaining three years. That translated to almost 4 percent a year! Temper that with the fact that the contract had already expired over four years previously and we had gone without any raise during that period and it was an even more bitter pill to swallow.

Unfortunately, because of the high-profile nature of the job, the news media and TV shows, the public's perception is that we are very well compensated because we are very good at what we do. Those close to a member of the service know that NYPD is and has been one of the lowest paid, large city departments for some time. Mayor Giuliani was great for the city, but when it came to the uniformed services, it was the old adage "you can tell me how much you appreciate me but show me in my paycheck" and all we got was lip service.

Thank you for bringing this thorn in our collective side to the forefront. I was fortunate to have retired before the 9/11 attacks, but lost four friends and coworkers in the World Trade Center and seven others during my tenure with the NYPD. Thanks again.

Ed Kassof

Goode, Virginia

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