The starting salary for New Hartford officers, after they have completed academy, is $41,372. In Whitestown, that number is $32,753 and in Kirkland, it’s $33,400. In Utica, officers in their first year after academy and other training get $42,647.So NH PBA president Paul Colburn argues . . .
New Hartford is the second busiest department on the area after Utica, he said, and the officers should be paid accordingly. . . .When NH officers get off the 840 ticket detail and go into troubled Cornhill or West Utica, or deal with gang violence at Proctor on a daily basis, then I would agree that they should be paid at levels comparable to their Utica brothers. . . .but not until then.
“We are comparable to Utica.”
Colburn pointed out, New Hartford has lost an officer in the line of duty, just as Utica has.
The notion that pay should be comparable because because both police departments have tragically lost officers is as preposterous as it is disrespectful to their memories. News accounts indicate that the Utica officer may have been specifically targeted for his police work, while the NH officer may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time due to inexperience in dealing with the type of situation. The memories of both deserve our honor . . . But the situations of the respective tragedies suggest why there should be a difference in pay scales. Utica officers are more experienced with more serious crime.
Experience . . . not seat time . . . and not maintenance of a rent-a-cop company . . . is what the taxpayers should be paying for.