Is the NYPD hitting its recruitment goals by moving the goalposts? “We will hit our target for the hiring coming up, which is in July, partly because we have lowered our authorized head count,” commissioner Ray Kelly said at a Partnership for Public Service benefit honoring him on June 24. Last summer’s academy class was planned to have 2,400 cadets; only 800 enrolled. This summer, the department will hit its target of about 1,250. (Mayor Bloomberg’s belt-tightening new budget reduced the police force by 1,000 positions.) Kelly credits increased rookie pay—the May arbitration decision on police salaries raised training-period pay from $25,100 to $35,881—for hitting the new number. “We’d still like to greatly exceed that,” he said. “We have a lot more demand than the supply that is forthcoming.” The new starting salary is still $4,000 below its 1995 level, Kelly said. “People don’t join the police force to become rich,” he said. “But this is the most expensive city in North America.”
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