Smaller NYPD class raises fears, AM New York (emphasis mine below)
Researchers and city officials Wednesday wondered if an increasingly stretched police force can continue to keep crime rates down on the same day that the NYPD fell far short in its goal of 2,800 recruits at cadet graduation.
While 1,097 cadets graduated Wednesday, the department is 1,828 short of the number of officers it is allowed to hire this year, an NYPD spokesman said. The force has steadily declined as veteran officers retire or leave the city to work in higher-paying areas.Critics have charged that the city is unable to attract enough recruits because NYPD salary levels are not competitive with those in the suburbs and New Jersey. Police academy recruits start at $25,100, a rate that's lower than newly hired sanitation workers, Central Park gardeners and plumbing inspectors. Top pay maxes out at $59,588.