State troopers have a tough assignment of protecting the lives of ordinary citizens as well as ensuring that the state law is not abused. To do this, they put their lives on the line daily. With the rise in radicalization, state police officers find themselves between a rock and hard place.
However, despite their challenging task, state troopers are also well paid. In New York, the average pay for the troopers for all ranks is $112,537. This is according to a Poughkeepsie journal study on state payroll records.
State Police Pay Compared to Other Civil Servants
If civilian employees working in state police departments are included in the payroll analysis, the average pay drops to $98, 500 which is still by far the highest in the executive branch, eclipsing what state legislators get by close to 20% and state university dons by 10%. Groupwise, only the New York City judges and the Supreme Court made more than the state police officers.
The troopers who get six figure salaries include sergeants, majors, and other high ranking officers and officials. New York has over 2,700 frontline troopers who earn an average of $101,574. According to figures obtaining from the US Census Bureau in 2009, New York City police force is the second highest paid ahead of California, Alaska and Delaware, but behind New Jersey.
Troopers Pay – High Risk High Reward
In most instances, questions regarding salaries of state troopers get a hot potato response because they are deemed inappropriate to be discussed in public circles. In line with the risk reward approach to life, New York state trooper jobs are deemed to be one of the most dangerous in the United States and as such their high compensation is justifiable.
Since 2003, the numbers of troopers who have lost their lives in the line of duty are 11. 3 of them died in shootings, 6 in automobile crashes and 2 died from electrocution and heart attack separately.
However, considering the pay, wholly state funded pension amounting to half salary after 20 years and the benefits that come with a state trooper in New York City, many people are willing to assume the risk. Over 15,700 applicants in 2008 passed the exam to join the state police but since then only 88 troopers have successfully gone through academy training.
Public sector jobs in New York are generally high attractive if the number of people applying for them is a statistic to go by. Also, people leaving these jobs voluntarily are rare. According to a former state police investigator, these salaries are warranted because they are part of the reason the state police department attracts the best applicants. His argument is that the police job is much more dangerous today than it was in the mid-20th century because there are lots of high powered weapons and drug trafficking has become much more networked and severe.
On average 10 candidates are processed for every state trooper vacancy with many of the candidates failing background checks, mental and physical competency.