Crime rate plunges after city dumps unionized police

Camden, New Jersey dumped its unionized police force last spring, unable to afford the lucrative union contract the city was stuck with, and instead contracted for police services with the nonunion county force. Crime promptly dropped. Ed Krayewski reports for Reason:

The city has been run exclusively by Democrats for several generations, and some local leaders openly worried that Camden, which already had the highest crime rate per capita last year, would get worse. But it hasn't. In fact, crime's gone down, as Fox News Latino reports

The reorganization increased the amount of police on the streets and incorporated cutting edge technology such as ShotSpotter rooftop monitors. The initiative has already gotten results, according to city leaders.

Over the summer months this year, the murder rate fell by 22 percent and crime overall was down 15 percent, according to data provided by Camden County officials.

When it comes to cops versus robbers, you can generally find me in the pro-cop camp. But police unions are another thing entirely. In return for their admittedly hazardous and stressful jobs, unions have in many places abusive contracts. In Camden, for instance:

Salaries range from about $47,000 to $81,000 now, not including the shift differentials or additional longevity payments of 3 percent to 11 percent for any officer who has worked five years or more. Officials say they anticipate salaries for the new force will range from $47,000 to $87,000.

In 2009, as the economy was putting a freeze on municipal budgets even in well-off communities, the police here secured a pay increase of 3.75 percent.

And liberal sick time and family-leave policies have created an unusually high absentee rate: every day, nearly 30 percent of the force does not show up. (A typical rate elsewhere is in the single digits.)

It is even worse at the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit police, where outrageous total compensation packages  have transit cops earning far more. Prior to the recent strike settlement package, check out the total compensation of these transit cops:

Tietz, Forrest, Police Sergeant, Police Operations Division:                            $362,662

Lucarelli, Frank, Police Lieutenant, Police Operations Division                        $358,556

Rainey, Kenton, Police Chief, Office of the Chief                                           $324,981

Dixon, Marlon, Police Sergeant. Police Operations Division                            $302,315

Parker, E., Master Police Officer, Police Operations Division                           $298,160

Let's skip the ten next highest-paid members of the force and get to:

Barrera, Rodney,  Sr Police Officer, Police Operations Division:                      $262,070

And skip the next ten highest-paid, reaching:

Pashoian, Timothy, Police Sergeant, Police Operations Division:                    $240,728

At last! Somebody making under a quarter mill a year.

You can check out the entire list, and see how much is due to overtime and other methods of multiplying base pay here.

Police do deserve fair pay. But they should not be enriching themselves at the expense of the public, and their work rules should be fashioned to protect the public, not to fatten their wallets.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Camden, New Jersey dumped its unionized police force last spring, unable to afford the lucrative union contract the city was stuck with, and instead contracted for police services with the nonunion county force. Crime promptly dropped. Ed Krayewski reports for Reason:

The city has been run exclusively by Democrats for several generations, and some local leaders openly worried that Camden, which already had the highest crime rate per capita last year, would get worse. But it hasn't. In fact, crime's gone down, as Fox News Latino reports

The reorganization increased the amount of police on the streets and incorporated cutting edge technology such as ShotSpotter rooftop monitors. The initiative has already gotten results, according to city leaders.

Over the summer months this year, the murder rate fell by 22 percent and crime overall was down 15 percent, according to data provided by Camden County officials.

When it comes to cops versus robbers, you can generally find me in the pro-cop camp. But police unions are another thing entirely. In return for their admittedly hazardous and stressful jobs, unions have in many places abusive contracts. In Camden, for instance:

Salaries range from about $47,000 to $81,000 now, not including the shift differentials or additional longevity payments of 3 percent to 11 percent for any officer who has worked five years or more. Officials say they anticipate salaries for the new force will range from $47,000 to $87,000.

In 2009, as the economy was putting a freeze on municipal budgets even in well-off communities, the police here secured a pay increase of 3.75 percent.

And liberal sick time and family-leave policies have created an unusually high absentee rate: every day, nearly 30 percent of the force does not show up. (A typical rate elsewhere is in the single digits.)

It is even worse at the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit police, where outrageous total compensation packages  have transit cops earning far more. Prior to the recent strike settlement package, check out the total compensation of these transit cops:

Tietz, Forrest, Police Sergeant, Police Operations Division:                            $362,662

Lucarelli, Frank, Police Lieutenant, Police Operations Division                        $358,556

Rainey, Kenton, Police Chief, Office of the Chief                                           $324,981

Dixon, Marlon, Police Sergeant. Police Operations Division                            $302,315

Parker, E., Master Police Officer, Police Operations Division                           $298,160

Let's skip the ten next highest-paid members of the force and get to:

Barrera, Rodney,  Sr Police Officer, Police Operations Division:                      $262,070

And skip the next ten highest-paid, reaching:

Pashoian, Timothy, Police Sergeant, Police Operations Division:                    $240,728

At last! Somebody making under a quarter mill a year.

You can check out the entire list, and see how much is due to overtime and other methods of multiplying base pay here.

Police do deserve fair pay. But they should not be enriching themselves at the expense of the public, and their work rules should be fashioned to protect the public, not to fatten their wallets.

Hat tip: Instapundit

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