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Letter: ‘Outrageous’ payouts for police

Mount Vernon Mayor Ernie Davis pins the shield

Mount Vernon Mayor Ernie Davis pins the shield on new Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Burke Jr. during a swearing-in ceremony at Mount Vernon City Hall on Friday. (March 1, 2013) Photo Credit: Xavier Mascarenas

The letter “Put public pensions at state levels” [Jan. 6] doesn’t go far enough.

The incredible ability of police officers to retire and collect the full amount of their unused sick leave and vacation time goes far beyond that given to state employees. State workers don’t get any payout in cash for unused sick leave, and can accrue only six weeks’ worth of vacation, regardless of years of service. To get the full amount without limits is outrageous. With that, former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke will receive $434,000.

Why haven’t politicians tried to cap these payouts at the amount that most other New York State employees receive?

Paul Besmertnik, Melville

Editor’s note: The writer retired from the state Department of Transportation after 41 years.