A last-minute surge brought the total number of applicants for the upcoming June 13 Suffolk police civil service test to 20,056 by last Wednesday's deadline, officials said Friday.
Earlier, applications were running about half the rate of four years ago when 31,039 took the test. Officials attribute the still-smaller turnout to the low number of new hires -- just 108 -- in the past four years and to a new police contract that reduced starting annual pay for new officers to $42,000 from $59,000. County Executive Steve Bellone's 2015 budget estimate of $2.4 million in revenue from the $100 test fees will also fall short. By preliminary projections, 2,684 applicants will receive fee waivers. That would mean a nearly $663,000 revenue hole. -- Rick Brand