It was a great plan. Two-thirds of each Academy graduating class would be dispatched by the NYPD to crime hot spots throughout the city, giving the rookies a trial by fire without draining manpower from better-controlled areas. It was called Operation Impact, and it was a centerpiece of a strategy that has pushed crime down 30 percent in New York’s worst neighborhoods. And now it’s not going to happen anymore, because the city pays its rookie police officers $25,100 a year, and there are simply not enough suckers. The next Academy class, budgeted for 2,800 people, will be lucky to have 800 enroll. Yesterday, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly drew this grim picture before the City Council before suggesting that the city negotiate with the police union separately (as opposed to lumping the cops with the rest of municipal workers). However, the Daily News reports, the mayor’s not sold on the idea. So it seems the only hope now is for joining the force to become a new vogue among New York’s rich. Condé Nast manages to fill all its editorial-assistant slots with similar wages, after all.
It’s a Crime! [NYDN]