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Ted

This a total smoke and mirrors effort. Nothing will change. After a few hedlines, everything will go back to business as usual. Has anyone seen one these non-detail flagmen yet??


yeah....Thats what I thought.

I'm not holding my breath.

mj

All this will do is reduce the amount of police presence in our cities and towns. Flag Men in other states cost the same or more to hire as police details. Examples such as California where flag men were unionized and making more than cops within a few months of the change are proof that this law change will have no benefit to the people of the Commonwealth.

I don't know about you, but I would much prefer a few extra cops on the road (with safety, first aid, etc training!) than a group of flag men with no applicable training except waving a flag.

In towns where there are only 4-5 patrol cars on the road daily, details can double or triple the daily police presence. In this time of homeland security threats all around I feel much safer having these extras cops on the street.

It always amazes me that we would as a society expect cops to respond to our emergencies and be there to in most cases "SAVE OUR LIVES!" but we would begrudge them the opportunity to make a fair wage. I am grateful to the police officers in my community and feel that they deserve the opportunity for details. I recognize that they like us are tax paying citizens of this state as well and that diminishing their incomes could have an adverse effect on our economy. If we in the private sector were being targeted and asked to give up part of our earnings there would be lawsuits everywhere.

All this law will do in the long run is make our streets less safe, lower the quality of people who choose to become police officers and cause most of our existing police force to pursue side jobs or different careers to make ends meet. Cost savings to the state... lets compare the numbers in a few months... I just don't see it.

A no win situation all around.

carpundit

MJ-

I think police do make a fair wage. But if we think it isn't enough, let's pay more. I have long supported across-the-board pay raises for well-trained police in lieu of the detail scheme. The biggest problem with details isn't that they cost money. I think the biggest problem is that *so* many cops begin to rely on the detail income, and work details whenever they can, making them tired and ineffective when they're actually on patrol. I've seen it first hand for twenty years now.

As for making you safer, I agree it's better to have an extra cop around, all things being equal. Heck, I'd like to have one standing outside my apartment 24/7. But it isn't feasible. We have to look at the costs as well as the benefits. Having them guard holes in the ground at the expense of quality patrolling just isn't worth it to me.

The terror thing is a red herring, a scare tactic to get people in line.

CP

MJ

CP, I would totally agree with you if it was in fact a fair wage. In my North Shore city Police officers start at approx. 38K per year. I started at more than that at my desk Job. And I never get shot at, never have to run into building to faced an armed assailant, never frisk drug addicts for needles, and never get bad press when I do my job poorly.... it doesn't seem fair to me.

I do wish in fact that the Police didn't have the need to work details - as in California where they start in the 70K range. And the latest talk of losing the Quinn Bill - an incentive for educated Police officers - is another blow. I actually have a close friend who as a Police officer make approx. 90K a year working 60 or more hours a week. These changes will drop his earnings to 50K or so... even with his wife currently working full time, he will most likely not be able to afford his mortgage and living expenses.

I just doesn't seem right to pull the ability to make a comfortable living away from these civil servants... when there are definitely more areas on the budget spreadsheet that would actually have the state money in the long run.

It would definitely be the ideal is Police base pay scale was more fair... but again the regular citizen loses - as where will that pay increase coem from if not from details? City/town taxes... our pockets. Where will the money the 'state' saves go? Who knows, but not to you and me.

I, as always appreciate you commentary and point of view.

Thanks, MJ

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Greg

Pay the cops more than mailman then they won't have to watch over manhole covers!

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sometimes we need to look on the other side, why do cops accept underground jobs? precisely because these people have great connections enough for them to say yes and yes alone..either or it would be risky for them to refuse sometimes if not always its a matter of life and death negotiations..I still believe in their service and goals, they're just learning to deal with it rather than creating an issue out of it..

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If only the 350 cities and towns could find the same political will. We can break the back of the police unions here, if people don't chicken out.

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A pleasant holiday shopping season to you and your readers. Thanks for continuing these posts on your blog.

Greg

Some police still make 40 grand a year! Less than a manager at McDonalds! Pay them more and then maybe we can talk about details!

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