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Civilians complaining about Police/Emergency Services' Pay

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It seems that any time the yearly salary of a police officer is brought up, most people seem to complain that "police are grossly overpaid for what they do". I have a serious bone to pick with this issue. It's so evident that the general public is simply unaware of just how risky and demanding police work is. Heck, I'm just a civilian and I see how demanding police work is, just from having talked to many members of various police services, ranging from Constables up to Inspectors.

Whenever I bring up the fact that police constables are entitled to their salaries, the quickest replies always cite those one or two constables that acted inappropriately in some way or that the police "sit around" and hence, are not entitled to their salaries. You'd think that people would wise up to the fact that a job where you deal with dangerous and life-threatening situations every day deserves a fitting salary. 

It just really strikes a nerve with me with how ignorant the general populace is to the realities of policing, be it intentional or not. Anyone that has a job where they're subjected to long, hazardous hours is entitled to good pay, IMO.

The same applies to ALL emergency services jobs. I also recall there also being a bit of an uproar about Paramedics and Firefighters also being "overpaid". I think the root of this problem is sensationalistic journalism and pure ignorance on the general public's behalf. I doubt the average citizen could get through a single police/EMS/fire-rescue shift. I also feel that those working in corrections are entitled to every cent that they earn and then some.

It's just a downright piss-off that the general public is so blind as to how dangerous, demanding and grueling these jobs are and even more of a piss-off that the general populace is so blind as to how necessary these jobs are. The general populace takes Emergency and Correctional services for granted, and despite the fact that these services are absolutely essential, are quick to trash talk them in any way possible. It's downright disgusting. They don't seem to realize that the next time they're in a crisis, it's going to be emergency services personnel that save them. Civilians are quick to bad-mouth emergency services, but even quicker to rely upon them for most anything.

Just my  :2c: .
 

mariomike

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That was a very nice post.
I don't regret a minute of it, and I appreciate the material things the city made possible for me and my family. 
I only regret that so many old comrades have passed away.

 
 
A

aesop081

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BadEnoughDude said:
It's just a downright piss-off that the general public is so blind as to how dangerous, demanding and grueling these jobs are

Part of that, i think, is the nature of the job being done. The day-to-day job is often done out of the public eye and poorly publicized (both by ineffective PR departments and the joys of mainstream media sensationalism). The public does not "see" the service being performed and thus does not understand why it costs so much. All they see is EMS on strike or RCMP officers tasering a guy at the airport. They see a post-game riot and, month afterwards, still no charges.

I will be the first one to point out the colossal stupidity of the public in general but that is only part of the problem.
 
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CDN Aviator said:
Part of that, i think, is the nature of the job being done. The day-to-day job is often done out of the public eye and poorly publicized (both by ineffective PR departments and the joys of mainstream media sensationalism). The public does not "see" the service being performed and thus does not understand why it costs so much. All they see is EMS on strike or RCMP officers tasering a guy at the airport. They see a post-game riot and, month afterwards, still no charges.

I will be the first one to point out the colossal stupidity of the public in general but that is only part of the problem.

You're absolutely correct. Poor, selective or sensationalistic media coverage of the emergency and correctional services completely skews any public perception of what they actually do. The various forms of media are only concerned with cases that can generate outrage, and gain viewership/readers. I've noticed that the media thrives on cases where there's a certain degree of ambiguity. That is, cases where it'd be rather easy for the media to omit or embellish certain details about a case in order to get as much public response as possible. The RCMP airport tasering case is a prime example of the media skewing and omitting facts due to the fact that the case can appear ambiguous to anyone who wasn't actually there as the event happened, making it a prime target for media "spin".

I'm not saying that it's some sort of tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory that the media constantly paints emergency and corrective services in a negative light, but their besmirching of these services' is consistent and frequent and completely unwarranted. It's completely sickening that the media would even consider making negative-spin stories about emergency and corrective services, given how essential they are. You'd think that services that save lives and keep order in society would be given a positive spin by the media, not constantly attacked. The end result of this is that the public adopts gross misconceptions about these services and perceives them as being less legitimate or effective. In my opinion, this then generates a mindset amongst the general public that emergency and corrective services are overcompensated. Overall, it's yet another case of the media tarnishing any service that is visible and who deals with controversial issues.

Just my  :2c: .
 

Fishbone Jones

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BadEnoughDude said:
You're absolutely correct. Poor, selective or sensationalistic media coverage of the emergency and correctional services completely skews any public perception of what they actually do. The various forms of media are only concerned with cases that can generate outrage, and gain viewership/readers. I've noticed that the media thrives on cases where there's a certain degree of ambiguity. That is, cases where it'd be rather easy for the media to omit or embellish certain details about a case in order to get as much public response as possible. The RCMP airport tasering case is a prime example of the media skewing and omitting facts due to the fact that the case can appear ambiguous to anyone who wasn't actually there as the event happened, making it a prime target for media "spin".

I'm not saying that it's some sort of tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory that the media constantly paints emergency and corrective services in a negative light, but their besmirching of these services' is consistent and frequent and completely unwarranted. It's completely sickening that the media would even consider making negative-spin stories about emergency and corrective services, given how essential they are. You'd think that services that save lives and keep order in society would be given a positive spin by the media, not constantly attacked. The end result of this is that the public adopts gross misconceptions about these services and perceives them as being less legitimate or effective. In my opinion, this then generates a mindset amongst the general public that emergency and corrective services are overcompensated. Overall, it's yet another case of the media tarnishing any service that is visible and who deals with controversial issues.

Just my  :2c: .

So you don't think the city hired lawyer made valid points?
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Meh. I just explain it this way, "I don't get paid for what I do, I get paid for what I MIGHT have to do."
 

Fishbone Jones

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Teflon

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Would you really want the kind of police you would have if you paid them minimum wage?

I certainly wouldn't
 

Edward Campbell

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Teflon said:
Would you really want the kind of police you would have if you paid them minimum wage?

I certainly wouldn't


It is interesting that, in a book that should be read by people interested in counter-insurgency, The Long Long War: Counterinsurgency In Malaya And Vietnam, MGen Richard Clutterbuck, PhD, made the point that paying policemen a good, solid wage was vital to establishing and maintaining effective, fair and honest "law and order" and, thereby, gaining (and keeping) the confidence of the population. It is the same in Canada, today, as it was in Malaya in the 1950s: if you want public safety you need to pay the police.
 

Container

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I would hardly call getting off at 7am and being in court for 9:30 and waiting all day to be called to testify and then being required back at the office at 6 to work another 12hours "Gravy". They are paid alot to do so....because its brutal.

Thats courts fault. Not the police officer. Furthermore, during recession and joblessness there is a general increase in calls for service. So while there is less money in the budget there is more police work to be done. And you watch. It wont be the new crew cut recruits who dont know their asses from a hole in the ground that leave. It'll be all of windsors experience. You get enough "new guys" on the road and it doesnt matter because they dont know what the hell they are doing.

I agree. Gotta save money- times are tough. Axe the public servants at city hall and have people file there own work. When your assistants have assistants and temps theres your problem. Id also like to see what the cost of Mr. Christies services will be by the end of the arbitration. The only guys with better gravy than cops are the lawyers. By the time his staff gets paid and himself, and the slow working new cops who can't get on top of their work are finished the money will be burnt +more.

*edit*

and three percent over the last 2 years alsmost just amounts to a "cost of living" increase doesn't it?
 

mariomike

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CDN Aviator said:
Part of that, i think, is the nature of the job being done. The day-to-day job is often done out of the public eye and poorly publicized (both by ineffective PR departments and the joys of mainstream media sensationalism).

Good point. Much of the "people helping people" occurs privately, inside people's homes. That's where you have to be your own PR department. It can be just as dramatic as the street trauma shown on the TV news.
 

bcbarman

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The biggest beef I have is the lack of knowlege that the normal civillan has, and the horrible spin that the media takes.  Privacy laws prevent us from saying anything untill well after the courts do their thing, and at that point it's well forgotten.  As a Peace officer, I would love to pass a full ban on talking to the media about anything, and lets see how many papers get printed with inaccurate info, then get sued for libel by the victims later.

We get paid well because its damn dangerous to do what we do, and I still have to feed my family.  Bribes and kickbacks happen when you can't feed the kids, but the criminal is happy to.
 

mariomike

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bcbarman said:
As a Peace officer, I would love to pass a full ban on talking to the media about anything, and lets see how many papers get printed with inaccurate info, then get sued for libel by the victims later.

Where I used to work, media inquiries are referred to the Media Relations office or Duty Officer.

However, paramedics are encouraged to respond to the media at the scene of emergency responses, or at receiving hospitals, to provide timely information about what they do.
Paramedics may discuss the general facts of their own job within their personal areas of experience or expertise.
Under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, they must not provide any information that could serve to identify any patient. They may not discuss specifics as to what they did to assess, treat and care for the patient. They may discuss the general severity of the patient’s condition., the general nature of the call, number of patients etc.
They must not use their position, status or uniform to express their personal opinion on any given policy matter.
There is an S.O.P. on the subject that goes into more detail.
 

cn

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There is no media conspiracy to "sensationalize" when an officer / firefighter / or medic messes up on the job.  It's just the plain fact that someone doing the job they are supposed to do isn't news, when they do something outside of their normal job description is.

The unfortunate thing is they make a bigger deal when a mistake is made, than when an individual goes above and beyond their job description.  The public is more interested in villains than heroes. 

Bad PR? Maybe... Trying to sell ads? Always.  My 2.
 

Zoomie

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bcbarman said:
We get paid well because its damn dangerous to do what we do, and I still have to feed my family.
Why can't LEO's be on salary?  It's the overtime that strikes a nerve for me.  Getting $100/hr to work on holidays is a bit extreme.

I understand that an argument against salary is all the court-time and paper work time - is this indicative of an undermanned police force?
 

Bass ackwards

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Zoomie said:
Why can't LEO's be on salary?  It's the overtime that strikes a nerve for me.  Getting $100/hr to work on holidays is a bit extreme.

I understand that an argument against salary is all the court-time and paper work time - is this indicative of an undermanned police force?

Zoomie, imagine you're a supervisor and you need X number of constables to patrol a certain area for the night shift. You're on a 12 hour shift schedule.
It's summertime, a long-weekend and we'll throw in a full moon just for the hell of it.
That's peak vacation time, so you're already short a few guys right there. Plus maybe you've got a few people off for injuries, away on courses, etc, etc.
Now someone calls in sick. You're below your minimum manpower requirement.

How do you get someone to come out to cover that/those vacancies if there's no incentive for them to do so ?

If there's a way to get around that without opening a huge can of worms, it's beyond me.

 
 

Container

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Why would anyone do a job where you dont get compensated and are called out every second night? Canada has the lowest police officer to citizen ratio of pretty much everywhere- I'd suspect the other emergency services would be similar. if you had more police officers, sure, you'd have less OT paid out. But if we have a hard time getting people into uniforms with the incentives we have now how the hell are we going to do it when they dont get paid for the ridiculous amounts of overtime required of them? I dont see anything wrong with being paid 1.5X for the 4 hours on top of my shift I have to do and 2x for the work Im called in on my days off for.

Some other services have some ridiculous rates- But their cities agreed to it for whatever reason.

The issue with the media isnt that they report only the bad stuff. Its that they report baseless accusations that are inevitably thrown out of court and the cops is found not guilty and they never print a retraction and the damage is already done. Completely without any sort of responsibility or accountability. Its the vast majority of the police "news" you see. I think everyone here is smart enough to see how there is money and revenge to be had on these types of jobs and the amount of false accusations is staggering.
 

mariomike

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"EMS workers top list of overtime paid by City of Toronto":
http://www.680news.com/news/local/article/281525--ems-workers-top-list-of-overtime-paid-by-city-of-toronto
"Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong told the Toronto Sun EMS workers are the most likely to work around the clock, building up hefty overtime cheques."

Nothing new about that. There was always plenty of O.T.
 

mariomike

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BadEnoughDude said:
The same applies to ALL emergency services jobs. I also recall there also being a bit of an uproar about Paramedics and Firefighters also being "overpaid".

As an after thought on the topic, I should like to add that our wages and benefits, and equally important health and safety improvements, were not achieved over-night.
The unions representing Toronto police, fire and ambulance have been negotiating for their members, and pensioners, with the city for almost a century. 
For example, Ambulance has been in the Toronto Civic Employees Union TCEU  ( outside workers ) since 1917. The Toronto Police Union ( now Association ) was chartered in 1918. The Firefighters also unionized in 1918.
 
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