State report: 12 Nassau cops among highest paid

Nassau County Police guard a scene in New Nassau County Police guard a scene in New Hyde Park. (Aug. 14, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

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Sixteen of New York's 20 highest-paid local employees in 2012-13 were police officers, including a dozen from the Nassau County department, according to an annual report on public payrolls across the state.

The "What They Make" report from the Empire Center for Public Policy, which covers April 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013, also said the highest average municipal salaries were led by the villages of Sands Point, averaging $91,000 for general employees, and Amityville, at nearly $176,000 for police.

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The state's highest-compensated local government employee was George Gatta Jr., executive vice president of Suffolk County Community College, who collected $359,632 before retiring in February, the report said.

Gatta's final pay package was nearly $130,000 higher than his salary from 2011-12, the study said. Second to Gatta was Nassau County police Officer Gary H. Renick, who made $306,299.

The county and municipal payroll database consists of all full-time and part-time workers enrolled in the pension system at any point starting April 1, 2012, including employees who left or retired, and those hired during the period. The salaries used to compute the averages include overtime and pay for unused sick and vacation time.

The figures do not include pension contributions, health insurance and other fringe benefits, which typically can add at least 35 percent to 40 percent to salary costs.

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The highest salary reported for any group of local employees was the $175,818 average collected by 23 Village of Amityville police officers, according to the report.

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