Police in Boston were by far the city’s top earners last year, says the Boston Globe. Twenty-five police department employees earned more than $200,000, nearly four times the number who made that amount in 2005. Police have long been big earners in Boston, where a powerful union and private detail work have helped boost pay. About 41 percent of the force, 1,276 employees, made $100,000 or more.
City officials attributed much of the increase in police pay to increased detail work and overtime. Some city watchdogs said that overtime has prevented the city from making strides toward a larger police force. “This is one of the reasons why it’s difficult for the city of Boston to add more police officers and expand the force, because the position itself is so expensive,” said Samuel Tyler, president of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, a business-funded group. In 2006, the average uniformed police officer made $113,617, including $35,600 in detail and overtime pay. Police Superintendent Robert Dunford said police captains have been working longer hours to attend more neighborhood meetings and boost patrols. “The commissioner wants very high visibility of the captains, and he wants them to have a presence and get feedback into the department on how we can police the community better,” he said. “The proof in the pudding is that with the accountability and initiatives that we put out, the crime has gone down.”