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The average starting salary for a rookie cop in the United States is about $40,000.00. Having said that, it’s important to understand that this fluctuates wildly depending on many, many factors. Cops in large cities like Los Angeles and Chicago are generally going to get paid more than officers in Moss Point, Mississippi or Show Low, Arizona, but don’t forget that the cost of living is also markedly different in each of these regions.
Average and Median Earnings
As of 2011, police and highway patrol officers earned an average of $27.05 an hour and $56,260 a year. Half of all police and highway patrol officers made between $19.77 and $33.65 an hour and between $41,110 and $69,990 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Approximately 636,410 police and patrol officers were employed in the United States as of May 2011.
Pay by Employer
The average salary for local police officers was $56,160 a year as of 2011. Police officers employed by the federal government earned less, averaging $51,690 a year. State police and highway patrol officers reported the highest earnings, with an average of $60,650 a year.
I’ve never met a cop with more than two years on the job who didn’t either work lots of overtime or have what we call a “side job.” There were officers on my own department who were able to double their paychecks consistently with overtime pay. Generally, overtime pay is either governed by federal labor law or your union contract; most cops make additional money by working extra shifts, going to court, or volunteering for specialty assignments such as local festivals, parades, high school football games, any place the community demands extra police presence.
Most police departments have traditionally placed their patrol officers on a 40-hour workweek in which personnel work five consecutive 8-hour shifts, followed by two days off. In recent years, however, an increasing number of law enforcement agencies have moved to some variant of a compressed workweek. Some officers work four 10-hour shifts weekly or three 12-hour shifts (plus a time adjustment to make up the remaining 4 hours of the standard 40-hour workweek).
That ought to be reversed, if anything, for working cops. I wouldn't suggest anything so extreme tho. Something in the $100,000 range would probably get a MUCH higher caliber of cop through better people wanting the job, existing cops becoming comfortable with a life outside and along side work and family time without outside jobs.
A first-class officer in Canada’s big cities now earns $80,000-$90,000 a year on average – before overtime and benefits. That makes them among the most generously compensated police in the world. During this year of hard-pressed public finances, the Toronto Police Association negotiated an 11.5-per-cent pay increase over the next four years for its members. Officers get 18 annual days of sick leave, and can bank unused leave, half of which can then be paid out in salary. They can retire at 50, with full pensions, after 30 years of service.
In this era of government austerity, particularly at the state and local levels, the median police salary in the small township of Saddle Brook, N.J., is more than $120,000. Virtually the entire force enjoys six-figure annual incomes. In North Brunswick, about an hour down the Garden State Parkway, the median police salary is over $110,000. Francis “Mac” Womack, the Democratic mayor of North Brunswick since 2012, defends this seemingly excessive compensation on the grounds that, while he “can go to sleep at night if we cut a recreation program,” he can’t sleep if his township is “doing without public safety” (the mayor did not specify who, exactly, was advocating a policy of no public safety).
The Jones County Sheriff's Department has lost 6 deputies within the last year to higher paid jobs.
"It's not that they want to get out of it, but they've got to do something else to provide for their families," said Jones County Chief of Operations Major Jamie Tedford.
The department will soon lose another one of their men because of money.
"His heart is in law enforcement, he loves what he does, he loves this job," said Sheriff Hodge.
"We sign up knowing what the pay is with the hopes that it's going to be different," said Major Tedford.
A Jones County correctional officer, who works with criminals every day, start off at $23,000.
Job Title: Customer Service and Attitude Adjustment Specialist
Work Conditions: Hostile environment to be expected. Occasional lethal threats will be encountered. Recognition will be limited, if ever received. Expect to work changing shifts with hours across all weekends and most Holidays. Overtime is expected as demanded and is not optional. 10-12hr shifts will be the rule with split shifts and double shifts required at times without advanced notice.
Pay: Starting pay $40,000 - Rising to $60,000 within 15 years. You will have a probation period of 16-18 months during which you can be dismissed for little cause, and you will have 16 weeks of residential instruction before starting that.