Sunday, March 21, 2010

Toronto Police: Traffic Enforcement More Lucrative than Murder Investigations...

No wonder Toronto Police are so quick to want to infringe on our Rights and Freedoms in order to "catch up" with their investigations... They're too busy working on Traffic Enforcement to be focussed on REAL crimes.. But who can blame them? Traffic Enforcement is far more lucrative for them than REAL Police work...

This doesn't come as a surprise to me, as I've been screaming about this for years!! But you already knew that, didn't you...

So, the Toronto Police's "Sunshine List", or the list of Toronto Police Officers who are pulling in over $100,000 a year, has just come out for 2009 and it's more shameful than ever...

Here's the story from the Toronto Star:

Toronto police $100K club continues to grow
In an election year, politicians must have courage to question wage spiral, says former budget chief

...The release of 2009 public sector salary disclosures [lists] 1,329 Toronto police uniform and civilian employees who last year earned more than $100,000 – a more than 30 per cent increase from the year before.

In 2008, 1,006 employees of the Toronto police service earned more than $100,000.

Those fattened pay cheques do not include lucrative "paid duty," where off-duty officers, paid by private companies, earn $60 to $70 an hour to perform such duties as directing traffic around construction.

In 2004, just 250 on city police payroll earned more than $100,000. By 2006, the total nearly tripled to 708. By '08, 1,006 made the club. By '09, 1,329.
So let me get this straight..

Firstly, I can't even begin to understand how any Police Officers are even making over $100,000, let alone 1,329 of 7,588 of them, or approximately 20% of the force... Don't even get me started on how in every city outside of Canada, Police Officers are paid barely $40,000 to $50,000, and that's a great salary for the job that that they're doing. It's far more than the majority of citizens out there who are barely surviving on the minimum wage that they are getting. But 20% of Cops getting over $100,000??? And that doesn't even include that $70 per hour that they get for standing around construction sites and doing nothing... In truth, if you included that side income that they get, we are easily looking at Toronto Police Officers pulling in a quarter of a million dollars every year!!!

And you wonder why our City's budget is so disgustingly huge... You wonder why we are having Property Taxes raised every year.. You wonder why user fees increase every year, while services decrease.. You wonder why they have to raise the TTC fares every year... This is one of the main reasons why! We are paying our Police a fortune to do a job which requires minimal skill... A job that's only requirements are that you are in good shape (and that's just to get on to the force), and that you don't have a criminal record.

And the crazy thing to me is that even though they are already pulling in a fortune, that doesn't stop the countless cases of police corruption that we see and hear about almost every day... I mean, how much is enough??

Man, and these numbers are just increasing... The $100,000 Toronto Police Club has gone up from 250 people in 2004, to 1,329 in 2009, that's a 531% increase over 5 years!!!

So now you're gonna tell me that, "hey, they're protecting us and saving lives, so they deserve it"... Really?? Here, let's read the next part of the article...

Mayoralty candidates responding to Toronto Star questions about the "sunshine list" raised concerns about paying police officers overtime to sit in court for traffic-related offences – a source of some of the paycheque-enhancing overtime received by cops.

Michael Thompson, who was paid $161,892, and Abdulhameed Virani, who collected $151,042, were among the 380 constables who topped the $100K club in 2009.

Thompson and Virani didn't rack up their overtime as homicide detectives on 24-hour call.

Instead, they nearly doubled their salaries – the base salary of a first-class constable is $87,500 – in large measure by writing traffic tickets that require them to make frequent court appearances.

Uniformed officers grumble privately that politicians don't mind because they generate income for the city.

Under the Toronto Police Association collective agreement, police officers who attend court as witnesses during a scheduled off day are paid a minimum four hours, at 1.5 times their basic wage, even if the appearance lasts 10 minutes. Officers receive three hours of pay at time and a half if they appear in court before a scheduled shift.
Oh, really?? You mean they're not getting these ridiculous salaries for protecting us and saving lives, but for Traffic Enforcement?? You mean the bleeding hearts who cry out for the Police are just full of crap?? Wow, I didn't know that... (Yes, where is that darn symbol for sarcasm when you need it!)

And you know what the hidden Opportunity Cost of this is eh??  While they are busy working on Traffic Enforcement and going to court and pulling in a fortune in overtime for doing nothing, they are not out there solving REAL crimes. They're not out there finding missing persons, chasing down murderers, rapists, gang-members and other dangerous people... No, they're hiding in the bushes, waiting to nail you and I for driving in a diamond lane a bit too early when we were planning to make a right turn. They're too busy pulling people over for driving with a front license plate on their front dash, instead of on their bumper. You see, these things make both them and the city money. Solving murders does nothing except bring justice for the citizens of our city. And justice has no monetary value for our Police.

How else can the city pay their skyrocketing salaries and overtime, if they aren't bringing in the Traffic Ticket revenue every year?? Why do we even need to talk about quotas?? Just look at their salaries! Isn't that quota enough??

Now, I would understand if the $100,000 was going to a hero cop who saved countless lives, who solved major REAL crimes, who took down major drug operations, and who took down the Mafia.. That's worthy of $100,000 a year. But $100,000 minimum for Traffic Cops???!!!!!!

Paying Police overtime needs to stop. I work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, and I don't get any overtime. So does my girl, and she doesn't get any overtime. Maybe I'm just crazy, but doesn't getting paid a salary mean that you don't charge overtime?? Don't they usually promote people to a salary job, because their overtime costs are just crazy?? Isn't that the tactic that employers use??

And if these Police Officers were starting at $40,000 like they should be, then I would be ok with considering the idea of overtime. But starting at $87k and getting overtime on top of that?? Yeah, I don't think so.

And don't feed me all of that high-risk and danger pay crap... Firstly, “Traffic Enforcement”... Yeah, that deserves high-risk and danger pay, eh??? Secondly, they choose to take the job. They aren't drafted and forced into it.  If you're not ready for high-risk and danger, then why are you becoming a Police Officer??  Believe me, McDonald's is a much safer place to work, and they pay minimum wage (definitely not $40k to $50k).  If you don't want danger and high-risk, go work there.  Otherwise, you should be happy with $50k a year.  Definitely not $87k that turns into $161,000!!!  That's a travesty!

What a messed up city we live in... Thank you David Miller!  It's yours and the City Council's cowardice that have caused this...  What a great legacy you have left for us...  But hey, I bet it guaranteed the votes of every single Police Officer in the service over the years, eh?


PS: Like many of you, I searched and searched for the actual Sunshine List online, but I couldn't find the one for 2010 (which has the list for 2009). Actually, I found out that it won't be officially released until March 31st, 2010 (***Update*** The 2010 Sunshine list just came out today, here's the link:  Public Sector Salary Disclosure 2010 (Disclosure for 2009)). So we still have to wait a couple of weeks before we can review it for ourselves. But, here is a link to the Sunshine List for Municipalities and Services for 2009 (which has the list for 2008), in case you are curious... I believe that this is the list that the Toronto Star is quoting, as I found entries for Michael Thompson for $161,892 and Abdulhameed Virani for $151,042 on it. Check it out if you're interested...

(Image: by RebelXL on flickr)


Arina said...

I hate Traffic Cops as much as the next person, and it' ridiculous that they get paid so much for appearing in court etc, AND I'm not too fond of our police services anyway, BUT

They still do a job, and I don't think it's as meaningless as working in McDonalds.... Teachers coming into the work force start near 40 grand as well , and they move up very little throughout their careers..... even though they're so instrumental in our society. NBA players are useless, but they get paid millions....

I just don't think it's a "minimal skill"... there's always more involved.

jackandcokewithalime said...

Yes yes... Maybe I was a bit harsh, Arina... What can I say...

Anyway, for those of you who are curious as to what the Minimum Requirements are for becoming a Toronto Police Officer, I looked it up and it can be found here: Toronto's Finest Requires Toronto's Finest (isn't that cute?).

Here's a quick summary of the requirements:

Age - 18 years of age
Education - minimum grade 12 or equivalent, post-secondary is advantageous
Residence - Canadian Citizen or permanent residency status
Background - no criminal convictions without pardon and be of good moral character and habits
Vision - minimum of 20/40 (uncorrected), with normal colour acuity
Hearing - must meet hearing standards as established by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police
Driving - Ontario class "G" licence (upon submitting application) a quality driving record with less than six demerit points
First Aid / CPR - certified in level C prior to employment

Wow, do you think they got that right off of McDonalds' employment requirements? I'm just joking... Relax people! ;)


PS: Yes, I'm an A-hole...

Anonymous said...

I agree with Arina that it is obviously not a "minimal skills" job, but I think the overall point "Jack" is making is that:
1- why are these salary positions getting overtime; and
2- although the “danger and risk” with being a cop could be a reason, giving traffic tickets is not.

Both points I completely agree with. Why should ANYONE get paid for 4 hours if they only show up to work for 10min; and why is our city setting up such a system solely based on making cash (in lieu of justice)???

Great points Jack!!

nitroglycol said...

Just to play devil's advocate here - a lot more people die in traffic accidents than murders. So, traffic cops may well save more lives than other cops.

Anonymous said...

"Dont hate the player, hate the game".... thats what i say. I cant blame the cops... ! ive been in traffic court before and people have a court date and dont turn up and a translator was rerquested and still has to be paid, even if the defendant didnt turn up! Also, another person turned up to fight a $52 ticket .. and then asked for a new date... cop had to turn up again. Its the system.. not the players!!!

Anonymous said...

Thats a good and true point "glycol"..... hey Jack.. they are hiring...why not pack in the consulting..and apply? get in shape and do All the testing .. and apply. Its open for Everyone... even you im sure if you can meet the basic requirements, same as McDonalds as you said. Good luck on your new career, and your new bigger salary :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with this article 100%. because opening a car door improperly will leave you with a pretty sorry ticket - But on a side street?!, in the middle of the night?! it seems like a court appearance is instigated. (i wonder why...)
I also work 12's with no over time and have a heck of a long commute. I think it would be much more enjoyable riding around in a bicycle intoxicated by the power of the law.

Anonymous said...

R.I.P Sgt. Russell.

I hope jack doesn't want the 100k given back.

Anonymous said...

Kudos for this article. I have met Micheal Thompson and he is a grade A A-hole. I am shocked that he, as well as some of his collegues make this much money.

THAT, my friends, is a crime.

I will give ol' Mikey a ticket for being a greedy POS.

Wing-Nut Hunter said...

Nice opinion. How about getting an informed opinion sometime? At least you admit that you’re an A-hole.

I’m not a police officer, but I certainly appreciate what they do. When was the last time you went to work and got both verbally and physically assaulted? When was the last time someone who was HIV positive or Hep-C positive spat in your face? Have you ever had your life threatened at work? Is there a real potential that you’ll get killed doing your job? Are you publicly berated for doing your job? Do you have to deal with personal criticism for something a guy with a uniform did 3,000 miles away, 4 years ago?

Your ill-informed opinion is part of the reason why their job is so hard and why there is a growing lack of respect for authority. Your blog post is an emotional response to a fact. You are a shining example of why the police are so busy – they deal with people’s bad decisions on a daily basis. Posting your sad opinion is a bad decision.

Yes, there are some bad apples within every police force, but they aren’t all bad people and, as a whole, they deserve our trust and respect.

Now, about your inaccurate “facts”:

Average salaries for police officers are easy to find – and they’re not $40-50K. That is a rough approximation of where they start (Not $87K – learn to read). They have collective agreements that set out their pay very clearly.

The “standing around construction sites” that they do is when they are off-shift and are being paid for private security by companies – not the city. Incidentally, it keeps the on-duty police free so they don’t have to deal with complaints about vandalism, theft, etc.

Countless cases of corruption? Countless?? Really??

Generally speaking, traffic enforcement is done by a special unit that focuses only on traffic enforcement. These are the officers who make big $$ because idiots who were breaking the law in the first place fight their tickets in court. No court, no overtime. No one complains about the lawyers and judges who get paid to deal with that.

Traffic enforcement is also quite a dangerous job. Especially these days when people are spending more time texting, talking, etc. to pay attention what their 4500 lb. vehicles are doing.

Sadly, you have failed to check your facts and you have distributed a poorly informed opinion for public consumption. If you use a single newspaper article to inform yourself about such topics, you should really reconsider your sources.

The “fact” that you work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week is your choice, just like, as you point out, being a police officer is a choice. No one should measure themselves against you (or your ego). If you want to get paid for working overtime, find a new job.

Your sour grapes also ignores the fact that in cities like New Orleans where police officers actually have made $40-50K, they have to work as private security guards just to live, and they are much more likely to engage in corrupt activities.

Hopefully you’ll never need the police to come to your aid or the aid of someone you love. If you do, they’ll treat you with much more respect than you deserve.

Wing-Nut Hunter said...

I'm curious whether you're capable of having a reasonable debate with some original thought.

Your posts and comments seem to be highly reactionary and inspired primarily by emotion.

Are you able to support your opinions, or is your blog simply an outlet that allows you to vent thoughts that are based on half-baked logic, weak assumptions and questionable sources?

Just curious . . .

Anonymous said...

Wow this is grate non of u have any idea what life is about.

Anonymous said...

Wing Nut.. you sound like a CO. Yes I wish I was making 180g's a year and I bet we all do. I can tell you this. I know of a cop on the desk in Metro that makes over 100,000 to work at the desk. Now that's a shame.. someone might yell at him on the phone. He's a real piece of work and should be at McDonalds flipping burgers.
It is a dangerous job because of the unknown. I'm sure being on the 401 all day doing traffic isn't all that either. I would also look at something else. A cop deals with an offender for how long? Then they go to.. ya.. jail. Then the Correctional Officers or guards as they use to be called have to deal with the offender 24/7. What do you think is more dangerous? I'm thinking that CO's make less than cops but work in a far more dangerous envireonment...

Now when you end up in court... the lawyers take it all anyways.. so how about sometime post on here and complain about them. They're the real money makers!

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