Call him the million-dollar cop.
Old Westbury Police Chief Daniel E. Duggan retired last year after 40 years on the force with a salary and severance package totaling more than $1 million, according to village records.
Duggan, 64, received $1,061,937.61 as a result of hundreds of unused sick, personal and vacation days in addition to compensatory time and term leave, which grants village employees five days of pay for every year worked, according to records and village officials. When he retired, his annual salary was $285,286.64.
Duggan's severance pay included 275 sick days, equaling $321,530; 201 vacation days, totaling $235,009.20; 240 hours of comp time, amounting to $35,076; and 58.625 personal days, which cost $68,543.35, Village Administrator Kenneth J. Callahan said. His term leave pay was $233,840.
"I spent 40 years in this police department; it was time I earned and you're paid for your time," Duggan said. "What am I supposed to say, 'I don't want this'? I didn't negotiate the contract."
Duggan also currently receives a gross monthly state pension of $14,801.98.
Old Westbury Mayor Fred J. Carillo said, "It's a heck of a lot of money," but acknowledged the village was bound by the state retirement system, which allows accrued benefits to be paid out upon retirement.
"He was a good chief," Carillo said. "I can't quarrel with it. It's the state government. The civil service rules. There's nothing you can do about it. He's entitled to it."
Police officers in Nassau and Suffolk counties are among the most highly compensated in the nation. In addition to Long Island's two county police forces, dozens of villages and towns have police departments. The county departments investigate all homicides and assist many of the smaller departments.
Old Westbury, a village of about 4,600 residents that straddles the towns of Oyster Bay and North Hempstead, employed a police department of 25 officers, according to its payroll last year. That number has now increased to 27, the mayor said.
In all of 2013 -- the most recent year reported -- Old Westbury police investigated one aggravated assault, six burglaries, 29 larcenies and four motor vehicle thefts, according to New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, which tracks crime statistics at all the state's law enforcement agencies.
Retiree's $579G payout
Another Old Westbury retiree, Lt. James T. Mayberry, who along with the chief retired on June 27, received a payout of $578,686.39, according to village records. Mayberry, 58, could not be reached for comment. Mayberry's salary was $217,656.10 when he retired.
Mayberry's severance package consisted of 275 sick days, totaling $227,326; 1,320 hours of term leave, totaling $136,395.60; 424 hours of vacation pay, equaling $43,827.42; 239.75 hours of comp time, totaling $24,773.37; and 10 personal days, totaling $8,266.40, according to Callahan.
Carillo said he realized Duggan's retirement payout would be a "hefty sum" about five years ago and negotiated a five-year contract that would grant him a $30,000 retirement incentive and reduced his annual salary to $100,000 if he didn't retire at the close of the contract.
But Carillo said the severance packages didn't put a strain on village finances, even though Duggan's payout accounted for 13 percent of the $8,167,229.71 the village paid its 62 employees in 2014.
"If you want police protection, it costs you," Carillo said.
The village's "highly trained" police force is worth the money, Carillo said.
Crime in the village is "pretty low because we have good protection," Carillo said. "If there's ever a robbery or a burglary, we jump on it. We try to show a large amount of force on any response, so that way it goes out to the miscreants that if you come into the village of Old Westbury, you're going to to get arrested."
High totals not surprising
Tim Hoefer, executive director of the Empire Center for Public Policy, an Albany-based conservative think tank, said "substantial reforms" are needed on both the state and local levels regarding retirement benefits.
"I certainly don't find the number surprising," Hoefer said of the $1 million payout. "This is a symptom of a system that allows public employees to sort of accumulate massive payouts upon retirement. I don't think the argument is about the employees -- they're simply taking advantage of the benefits. This sort of speaks to the culture of how public employers treat their employees. You're seeing these massive benefit packages that start to accumulate when they're hired and really become a burden when they retire."
Nassau County paid more than $500,000 each in salary and termination pay to seven retiring police officers last year -- five years after county officials instituted a severance cap to limit the payouts to two times an officer's salary, which is described as base pay plus longevity, shift differential and holiday pay.
And last August, in Suffolk, Westhampton Beach Police Chief Ray Dean retired with a $400,000 payout for hundreds of unused sick, vacation and personal days after working 15 years as chief of the seaside community.