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NCJ Number: 67904 Find in a Library
Title: VANISHING BREED? - WILL TAX CUTS MEAN THE END OF THE PROFESSIONAL OFFICER?
Journal: POLICE PRODUCT NEWS  Volume:3  Issue:11  Dated:(NOVEMBER 1979)  Pages:44-49
Author(s): G R PARULSKI
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE THREAT OF THE PROFESSIONAL POLICE OFFICER DISAPPEARING IS BECOMING MORE REAL AS A DIRECT RESULT OF LOWERED WAGES BECAUSE TAX CUTS ARE FORCING MUNICIPALITIES TO CUT DOWN ON SUCH PUBLIC EMPLOYEES AS THE POLICE.
Abstract: TAXATION, TAX CUTS, AND PROGRAMS FOR VOLUNTARY WAGE RESTRAINTS TO STOP INFLATION HAVE LED TO FISCAL CONSERVATION AND BUDGET COSTS. A PATTERN SHOWS A MUNICAPALITY LOSING MONEY FROM EITHER POOR BUDGETING (USUALLY THE CASE) OR FROM TAXPAYERS WANTING TAX CUTS. THE MUNICIPALITY MUST LAY OFF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES, AND POLITICIANS THEN CHOOSE THE POLICE FORCE. THE POLICE, REGARDLESS OF LEGAL OR CITY THREATS, REVOLT, DEMANDING A PAY AND BENEFITS PACKAGE THAT FITS THE DANGEROUS AND CRUCIAL WORK THEY DO. THE SITUATION USUALLY RUNS OUT OF CONTROL AND BENEFITS FEW INVOLVED. STRIKES ORGANIZED IN NEW YORK IN 1975, IN CALIFORNIA IN 1978, AND IN NEW ORLEANS IN 1979 ARE EXAMPLES OF THE SPIRALING PATTERN TOWARD VIOLENCE AND CONFUSION THAT HAS BEEN OCCURRING. THE NEW ORLEANS STRIKE PROMPTED THE AFL-CIO TO CHARTER THE 110,000-MEMBER INTERNATIONAL POLICE ASSOCIATIONS, GIVING LOCAL POLICE GROUPS MORE MUSCLE. SINCE THE NEW ORLEANS INCIDENT, THE U.S. HAS AVERAGED THREE NEW POLICE STRIKES A MONTH. STRIKE POLICIES VARY IMMENSELY FROM STATE TO STATE--27 NOW PROHIBIT STATE AND LOCAL POLICE FROM STRIKING. HOWEVER, STRIKES DO OCCUR AND MORE FREQUENTLY THAN EVER. THE AMERICAN PUBLIC MAY THEN BE FACED WITH THE QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT THE PROFESSIONAL POLICE OFFICER MAY BECOME A 'VANISHING BREED' TO BE REPLACED BY VOLUNTEERS OR SECURITY OFFICERS. EXPERIENCE WITH A VOLUNTEER FORCE IN ONE SMALL SOUTHERN TOWN HAS ELICITED A RANGE OF FEELINGS FROM TOTAL ENTHUSIASM TO TOTAL REJECTION. PEOPLE ARE ALSO TURNING TO THE USE OF SECURITY OFFICERS TO MAKE UP FOR A DWINDLING POLICE FORCE. SECURITY IS BIG BUSINESS, VERY FEW STATES REGULATE SECURITY QUALIFICATIONS, AND THE USE HAS GROWN 300 PERCENT SINCE 1975. YET SECURITY PERSONNEL ARE FOR THE MOST PART EXTREMELY UNPROFESSIONAL (AND MOST ONLY EARN MINIMUM WAGE). A SURVEY OF POLICE WAGES IS INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Labor relations; Police unions
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