Nearly one in 10 Massachusetts State Police officers were paid more than the governor last year, with 225 officers topping the $140,535 annual salary of the state’s chief executive, reports the Boston Globe. Four of the 2,338 state troopers were paid more than $200,000, and 123 others were paid more than $150,000. The salaries include regular pay, overtime, and police detail pay at roadwork sites. Last year, 60 state officers earned more than $40,000 working details. Massachusetts is the only state to assign state and local police officers to nearly all road and utility work sites, instead of less expensive civilian flag persons.
Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a nonpartisan state budget watchdog group, said the salaries are “vastly excessive and extreme” and blamed the cost of the details for inflating officers’ pay. Officers are paid $40 an hour for the detail work. John Coflesky, president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, defended the detail pay. “With us, you get a cruiser, someone with the ability to stop and issue citations, someone with a radio,” he said. “A flag person — they just don’t have the same clout.”