For a place like New York City, a gigantic police force is a top priority, but in recent years, the NYPD has been unable to generate any interest in this career field. Finally, new numbers show that because of the prolonged recession and an increase in rookie salaries, the number of applications to the Police Academy rose 54 percent.
For a while, the applications have slowed. Many thought they could find better jobs, or safer jobs. Now, however, many people who have been out of work for a while decided to live out their childhood dreams and become police officers.
This increase in applicants also means that the NYPD is becoming more and more diverse. The percentage of black, Hispanic, Asian and female officers has been steadily rising since 2000.
Yet, now that the NYPD has enough applicants, due to budget cuts, they cannot afford to take full advantage of the surplus.
“When we had the money, we didn’t have the people,” the police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, said in an interview with the New York Times. “Now we have the people and we don’t have the money. We have people knocking on our door and we can’t do anything.”
A policeman’s salary can be very enticing at a time like this. Currently, the base salary for first-year officers is $41,975, back up after falling to $25,100 in 2005. After five and a half years, the total compensation, which includes holiday pay, uniform allowance, night differential and longevity pay, is up to $90,829.
Is there really a wonder why the police force is suddenly one of the best places to work?