*Anytime you’ve got the bad guys feeling sorry for you, you know your situation is whack!
So is the life of a police officer with a beat in the city of Detroit.
For one thing, not only is his or her work in one of the country’s most violent cities, but what do you get in return for all of your hard work?
How about a pay cut.
“When they saw us take a pay cut they were in shock. We were arresting guys … and they were like, ‘I can’t believe your city would do you like this.’ … I say, ‘Thanks for caring,'” veteran police officer Baron Coleman tells the Associated Press with a smile. “It’s just funny because I don’t like communicating with a person who has just committed a robbery how sad my life is,” he adds.
The pay cut has been in the works for quite some time; and with crime still on the rise, few would be surprised that the morale in the police headquarters is on the low end of the scale. And as the AP states, despite some recent positive changes — a new chief, new cruisers, new plans — there’s worry, frustration and anger among the rank and file.
Coleman, who traded a factory job for a badge and crisp blue uniform nearly a generation ago had certain expectations: a good salary, great benefits and a pension.
All of that has since left the building, so to speak.
With the city’s financial future being so uncertain, his own is not far behind.
Though he still enjoys his career as an officer, Coleman says he never dreamed that as he approached age 50, he’d be working seven days a week — moonlighting in security jobs — to pay for two kids in school and compensate for a $15,000 drop in benefits and wages.
“Right now, the dream of what I came on for has been destroyed,” he says. “I’m worried. Is my pension going to be there? If I get injured, is the city going to cover my family? … Before I would tell my wife, ‘If I die, I know you’ll be taken care of.’ Now, I tell her, ‘If I die, you’re on your own.'”
Read more about this at MSN News.
Thanks to the Associated Press for excerpts of this story.