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$190K a year? Get out on the streets!

When police union head Jeff Frayler hears about Suffolk County executive Steve Levy’s calls to civilianize a firing range officer position in a cost-cutting maneuver, he bristles.

When police union head Jeff Frayler hears about Suffolk County executive Steve Levy’s calls to civilianize a firing range officer position in a cost-cutting maneuver, he bristles.

For Frayler, it’s about more than hitting targets at the West Hampton range; it’s about instilling the “tremendous responsibility” of firing a handgun in a close-quarters, life-or-death scenario.

Last week, while urging the legislature to approve the personnel change, Levy released a three-minute video purportedly showing a firing range officer — whose salary and benefits are estimated at $190,000 yearly — sitting at a desk, giving instructions over an intercom. At the end, the video pointedly asks, “Could a $45,000 civilian do this job?”

The range officer position represents another point of contention in Levy’s ongoing civilianization efforts. In 2010, some 41 positions have been filled by civilians, freeing over 200 officers for patrol. Levy estimates the savings at $20 million annually.

Frayler accepts limited civilianization, but argues that front desk and applicant investigation positions require firsthand police knowledge.

By the numbers

$109K
Base salary after five years

$81K
Overtime and night shift payments, plus paid family dental, optical and medical plans

50%
Eligible for retirement with 50 percent pension after 20 years

41
Number of office positions filled by civilians in 2010

$20M
Estimated cost savings of SCPD’s civilianization

Source: Suffolk County

 
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