Are 23 Special Police Work Holidays Too Many?


Until recently, police officers in Malverne, N.Y., could get extra paid days off working on Child Health Day, Gerald Ford Day, Gold Star Mother’s Day, and Shirley Chisholm Day. Newsday says the police unioin is fighting a decision to stop the perk and deny officers hundreds of paid days off. Officers in the 1-square-mile village got time-off credit for work on up to 23 so-called “special days” between 2004 and 2007. This was in addition to their 12 paid holidays, 56 hours of personal time, at least 8.5 sick days, and as many as 18 vacation days.

The list of days included such little-known recognitions as Jan. 6, which this year marked the 223rd anniversary of the death of Haym Salomon. “I had to go research Haym Salomon Day,” said Police Chief John Aresta, who has benefited from the perk. “I mean, who was Haym Salomon?” (Answer: A Polish-born Revolutionary War financier.) All the holidays were “getting to be a problem, a big problem,” Aresta said. “The more time off people get, the more time off they take, but you still have to keep minimum staffing levels.” The Malverne police budget is $3,228,609 this fiscal year, the village’s largest single expenditure.


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