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Despite last-minute surge in Suffolk police applicants, fee revenue will come up short

Recruits stand ready to serve at the Suffolk

Recruits stand ready to serve at the Suffolk County Police Academy. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

A last-minute surge brought the number of applicants for the upcoming June 13 Suffolk police civil service test to more than 20,000, officials reported Friday,

Civil services officials say 20,056 filed by the April 1 deadline, with a deluge of 3,100 applications coming March 31 and another 2,200 on the last day. Earlier, applications were running at about half the rate as four years ago when 31,039 took the test.

Officials attribute the smaller turnout to the low number of new hires — just 108 — in the last four years and a new police contract which had reduced starting pay for new officers to $42,000 a year, compared to $59,000 annually four years ago.

Revenue from applicants' test fees will also fall short. County Executive Steve Bellone’s 2015 budget estimated $2.4 million in revenue from the $100 per person test fee.

Officials say preliminary estimates indicate 2,684 will receive fee waivers because they are veterans, on public assistance or are in job training programs. The would mean a nearly $663,000 revenue hole.
 

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