Salary blamed for fewer officers on the streets of city, BX

A new report claims the starting pay for police officers in the Bronx and the rest of the city is hurting recruitment efforts.The Daily News reported that police department ranks went down by 300 even though the goal was to increase the number of officers by 800. City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told the paper it's clear the salary is impacting recruitment. The starting pay for police officers in the city is $25,100 a year. The salary was cut almost 33 percent by an arbitrator after Mayor Bloomberg (R-NYC) and PBA President Patrick Lynch could not reach a deal on a new contract. Kelly said while the number of officers might have gone down, the quality still remains high. The police union claims many unqualified people are being accepted into the police academy, evidenced by the high failure rates.Bloomberg has offered to go back with Lynch to the bargaining table to raise the starting salary to $37,800 if the union lowers vacation time and limits the number of holidays. Lynch has reportedly refused to cooperate.