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.So let me get this straight..
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.
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.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!)
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.
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...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29496851@N05/3155696540/sizes/l/ by RebelXL on flickr)