Some Questions About Adding Cops
March 27th, 2006
The city has recently said it will hire 800 new cops. This weekend, Sewell Chan of the New York Times explored the question: “How many officers are enough?”
New York City already has almost twice as many cops per resident as Los Angeles and almost six times the officers per square mile. Further, more cops don’t necessarily translate into less crime. Take Washington, which has far more cops per resident than New York, but among the highest crime rates of any large city.
Then again, cops in DC spend a lot of time shuffling around public officials and foreign dignitaries, or attending demonstrations. New York’s police department also has duties that go beyond conventional crime-fighting — 1,000 officers are dedicated to counter-terrorism.
All this adds up to some fuzzy science, and there are vastly different theories used to determine the correct number of police officers for a city.
Today, the New York Post looks at other angle, based on a much more straightforward rule of economics: when you pay someone less to do a job, you’ll find less people who want to do it.
In an article entitled “Pay Cut Hits Police Recruiting,” the Post interviews students from John Jay College of Criminal Justice who plan to become cops. While one says that “The NYPD is real police work. Nassau and Suffolk aren’t”, others say the pay is driving them away, especially since along with the prestige of the city beat comes added danger.
“It seems like it could be a more dangerous job in the city,” said Ed Hanson, who decided to apply for a position in Nassau instead. “I don’t think the pay fits the details of the job.”By Joshua Brustein on March 27, 2006, 9:05 am
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