The sheriff is higher than the police

$ 100,000 and more a year, retirement at 45 - that's the pay of the police and fire department

Police officers in the New York Police Department (NYPD) and firefighters in the Fire Department New York (FDNY) receive benefits that can only be dreamed of elsewhere in New York. Here is a brief overview: (The numbers are for the NYPD. For the FDNY, they are often even higher.)

For example, a cop - or cop, as they are called here - can expect a base salary of more than $ 90,000 a year after six years. Civil servants who stay longer or have higher ranks get more of course. This does not yet include any payments for the popular overtime, which often increases the salary by a further 20 to 30 percent.

Police officers and firefighters can retire after 22 years of service, and there are many NYPD and FDNY retirees in their mid 40s. The average annual pension for a recently retired cop is $ 74,500 and $ 118,000 for firefighters. The wages are also so high because they are calculated from earnings including overtime: another reason why overtime is so popular with cops and firefighters and why many other cities do not allow overtime.

The ex-officers also get lifelong, free health insurance for which no co-payments are due. The salary is exempt from local income tax (but not from federal income tax).

With a life expectancy of 80 years, a retiree can easily cash in $ 2 million from the city. If you keep in mind that there are more retirees than active civil servants, you can see the huge cost to the city (the NYPD currently has an active-to-retiree ratio of 36,000 to 43,000).

After the exemption, the ex-officers can do whatever they want. The boys who retire in their mid-40s usually start a second career path.

The main reason for these generous benefits, which also include unlimited, paid sick leave for the active, are the strong unions. The unions of NYPD and FDNY are extremely active, also aggressive and well versed in politics and public relations. Mayors and other politicians usually shy away from messing around with them and prefer to leave this to their successors.

The Unions also defend their members to the last detail when they are accused of service violations. It is practically impossible to fire a cop or firefighter unless he or she can be shown to have blatantly broken the law. The allegation that American police unions allow corrupt and brutal cops to stay on duty has been louder than ever in recent months following the death of George Lloyd.