The San Jose Mercury News has reported that police and fire officers are some of the top income earners in Palo Alto. Lt Ken Densen, who recently retired, made $407, 908 last year. About half of that was a cash payout from unused vacation and sick leave. Nevertheless, his base bay as a police officer was $195, 169. It's good to be a police officer.
First runner-up was Captain Jason Amdur, of the Palo Alto Fire Department, who made a not so bad $322, 734. It's good to be a firefighter. Second runner up was Douglas Keith, a city police management specialist. What is a police management specialist, anyway? Well, it is good to be one. In fact, according to the Mercury, among the 100 top income and wage earners working in the city 77 are employed by the Palo Alto Police and Fire Departments.
It goes to say that these city police officers also retire with lavish tax payer funded pensions. It is also no wonder that retirements with the fire department have suddenly increased, as the new contract for next year will require employees to pay 9% in their CalPERS contribution. A similar situation is likely to happen with the police.
Of course this is a county-wide problem: millions of dollars are doled out in vacation and overtime, increasing salaries disproportionate to the private sector, double-dipping into the pension system to name a few.
I wonder how much the city dog catcher makes? I am sure it's good to be one!
To read more from the Mercury News article click here.