At least one New York City police recruit has asked for food stamps because of the paltry starting pay, says the New York Daily News. That prompted Mayor Michael Bloomberg to blast the police union for signing off on the $25,100 annual salary. Bloomberg spokesman Jordan Barowitz said it was “virtually impossible” for any recruit to meet the guidelines for food stamps. During six months in the Police Academy, recruits earn about $370.17 after taxes each week. The salary, the lowest in two decades, was set by contract between the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and City Hall.
With a jump in pay after six months, holiday pay, a uniform allowance, and overtime, the average first-year salary rises to $35,889, Barowitz said. “To qualify for food stamps at that income level, you need to have five children and a spouse [who] does not work,” he said. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the academy has lost 6 percent of its class so far, compared with 4 percent of the previous class, which earned more money.