Another Example of Misaligned Incentives in Policing

The New York Police department is seeing a surge in retirement requests as a result of the George Floyd Black Lives Matter protests, but this is not because the cops are feeling “under seige”, but because their pensions are dictated by their pay in their final year, and so the explosion in overtime leads to an explosion in the pensions.

This is completely f%$#ed up.

First, including overtime in determining a pension is just insane, and second, it creates an incentive for cops with one foot out the door to pack on the overtime.

This means that you have senior officers on the job who are so fatigued that they are not thinking straight.

This is incredibly bad policy:

New York’s Finest are putting in for retirement faster than the NYPD can handle — while citing a lack of respect and the loss of overtime pay, The Post has learned.

A surge of city cops filing papers during the past week more than quadrupled last year’s number — as the city grapples with a surge of shootings — and the stampede caused a bottleneck that’s forcing others to delay putting in their papers, officials and sources said.


Sources also said the flood of overtime tied to last month’s protests — which will boost pension payouts for eligible retirees — and the expected loss of overtime due to the recent $1 billion cut to the NYPD’s budget were also factors.

“This is the best time to leave,” one cop said.

“You’ve padded the numbers as high as you can pad them.”

Another cop noted, “When they cut the OT, a lot of people were done.”


A Brooklyn cop said the NYPD was facing a “perfect storm,” noting that “cops made the most overtime they will for a long time — at least until next year” and citing rumors that “grade promotions” for detectives and “special assignment money” for sergeants and lieutenants will be canceled. 

It being a New York Post story, they bury the lede, that cops are trying to cash in on an extraordinary level of overtime that they have received recently, and they completely ignore the policy implications.

Every time I look into police union contracts, I am horrified at what I see.

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