Monday, August 15, 2011

Are T&T's Police Really Paid Well?


With a crime rate per capita higher than that of the United States, can it truly be said that Police Officers in Trinidad and Tobago are well paid? The Express has quoted Minister of National Security as saying that per month a married constable will receive $9,516 per month, a married sergeant $11,460 and a married inspector $12,324. In light of the high risks involved regarding the job of a police officer, especially with regard to the high crime rate of our country can one truly say our officers are paid well? Mr. Sandy was on TV6 morning show saying that one cannot put a price to police work or on an officer's life. He said that even if each officer was paid $100,000 it still does not equate to the value of their life. What I want to know is if that is the case does that justify our police officers being severely under paid?

How do our police officers pay look in comparison to the pay of officers in other countries where the crime rate per capita is not as high as ours? Well in the UK police officers salary are as follows : -

Constables
On commencing service - £23,259, TT annual equivalent $251,025, Monthly TT Equivalent $20,918!!!

Constables at Pay Point 5
£31,032, TT annual equivalent $334,916, TT monthly Equivalent $27,909

Constables at Pay Point 10
£36,519, TT annual equivalent $394,135, TT monthly Equivalent $32,844

Sargeant's Pay 1yr in Position
£37,767, TT annual equivalent $407,604, TT monthly equivalent $33,967

Sargeant's at Pay Point 4
£41,040, TT annual equivalent $442,928, TT monthly equivalent $36,910

Inspector Pay Point 1
£48,108 with a raise bracket to £50,163, TT annual equivalent $519,210, TT monthly equivalent $43,267

Inspector Pay Point 3
£50,751 with a raise bracket to £52,818, TT annual equivalent $547,735, TT monthly equivalent $45,644

In the United States the average base pay for a New York State Trooper is USD $5,938 per month, which is TT $38,219 per month. However with over time a 2009 US Bureau Consensus found that with overtime officers took home on average USD $96,890 per annum which works out to be USD $8000 per month and a TT equivalent of $51,492 per month. As of 2010 the aveage salary for all ranks was USD $112,537 per annum, TT $724,276 per annum which works out to be TT $60,356 per month. Front line troopers took home in 2010 on average USD $101,574, TT $653,720 per annum which works out to be TT $54,476 per month. As a group Supreme Court Judges and New York City Judges are the only public servants who made more money than New York Police Officers with an average of USD $14,000 per annum. The interesting thing to note however is New York City Police Officers are the 'second highest paid' officers in the United States as Police Officers in New Jersey are actually paid more than New York Officers. Dennis Hallion an Executive of the National Troopers Council when asked to comment on the USD 112,000 salary for officers said "not enough".

So with these figures in mind, I can't see how Mr. Sandy can boast about a local married constable being paid $9,516 to leave his family every day and put his life at risk for another man's family and expect that police officer to be motivated and enthusiastic about his job but let's be real the majority of police officers are constables, and even when one considers the salaries of our senior officers it can be clearly shown from the figures that constables in the UK and US are working for twice the salary than our local senior officers. I agree asking for a ridiculous increase for officers such as a 50% increase may not be feasible, but certainly a 5% increase by government is totally out of order.

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