Two sides of story on Suffolk police hires
"Clash over Suffolk cop hiring" gives the incorrect impression that the county legislature wants to add additional police officers to the Suffolk County Police Department. What the legislature has supported is adding two police classes so that the county will be in the position to replace the 80 or more officers who retire every year.
The number of uniformed police in the department has been dropping for years. In 2004, there were 2,726 active sworn personnel; the number as of Feb. 21 was 2,462, a decrease of 264 officers in the last five years. This decrease has come at a time when Suffolk's population continues to grow and during an economic downturn that many see as a key cause in an increase in crime in our county.
We face the reality that some 80 officers will retire every year. If we do not replace these officers, the number of police personnel will drop to a level that endangers our citizens. We can't let that happen.
William J. Lindsay
Editor's note: The author is presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature.
Thank goodness Suffolk County taxpayers have County Executive Steve Levy as our voice to speak up against the powerful police union. It's about time there is a reality check for the real cost of police hirings, including the bloated retirement payouts. It's not the initial salaries, but the excessive compensation once they leave the force that has taxpayers seeing red. If there is nothing that can be done to remedy this practice, we have no choice but to limit the number of new recruits.
Kudos for guv's push to cut state spending
Gov. David A. Paterson's problems are both self-inflicted and Democratic-Party inflicted. But by all appearances, he has been the only public official in Albany who dared to speak of the 800-pound gorilla in the room: We need to spend less at all levels of government, from special districts and school districts right on up to the state and federal government. It's crystal clear that New York will spend its way to poverty and default before it acts to address this problem.
Here's one way to fix the federal deficit
Deficits are caused by congressional spending. Therefore, I propose a law that mandates that any deficit on April 16 or later in every year is paid off by taking 50 percent of the monthly income of all Congress members until said deficit is discharged.