According to the New York City website, "The Big Apple" is home to and employs more than 34,000 police officers and welcomes new applicants. In New York the main requirements for becoming a police officer include being 21 years old, a U.S. citizen, having college or military experience and a valid driver's license. At the time of publication, the starting salary for a New York City police officer entering the force is about $34,970 per year with room for advancement and subsequent pay increases.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) career resource for youths, the average annual pay rate for police officers nationwide in May of 2008 was about $52,810. In addition, they receive time and a half for overtime hours, uniform allowances and reimbursements, sick leave, vacation pay and generous retirement plans. In fact, after 25 to 30 years of civil service, police officers can retire and receive half pay.
Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers
The BLS published detailed salary information regarding the salaries of police and sheriff's patrol officers in its 2010-11 Occupational Outlook Handbook. Nationally, the median annual salary for position holders in May of 2008 was $51,410 but ranged between $30,070 and $79,680. The middle 50 percent of police officers nationwide earned between $38,850 and $64,940 per year. During the same reporting period, statistics show that police and sheriff's patrol officers in the state of New York made an hourly mean rate of $28.98, or $60,270 annually.
Detectives and Criminal Investigators
BLS reported slightly higher wages for detectives and criminal investigators within national police departments. According to the document, position holders nationwide earned a median wage of $60,910 per year. The lowest salary was recorded as $36,500 and the highest was $97,870 annually. Most detectives and criminal investigators earned between $45,930 and $81,490 across the country. During the same reporting period, such officers employed in Albany, Schenectady or Troy, New York, earned mean hourly wages of $32.04, or $66,650 annually.
First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives
Supervisors of police and detectives are some of the highest-paid officers in government law enforcement and earn considerably higher salaries than detectives and patrol officers. Surveys show that the average median salary for first-line supervisors in the police force ranged between $46,000 and $114,300 per year in 2008. The middle 50 percent of position holders made between $59,320 and $92,700 annually nationwide. During the same time frame, police supervisors in the state of New York earned mean hourly wages of $43.20, or $89,850 per year.
Transit and Railroad Police
One of the lowest-paid groups of law officers includes transit and railroad police. BLS reported that in 2008 salaries for such officers spanned from $31,300 to $72,700 per year. Most position holders nationwide made between $37,640 and $57,830 annually, and salaries fluctuated slightly between state and local governments. In the state of New York, the mean hourly rate of pay for transit and railroad police officers was $28.28 ($58,810 annually) during the same period.
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