It’s the yearly ritual of an understaffed Police Department. Officers, led by overtime, once again dominate the list of 100 highest municipal wage earners for 2022 with just one outlier cracking the top 10–former Superintendent of Schools Michael Testani.
Retired Lieutenant Richard Azzarito leads the field with gross earnings $305,445, but accumulated payouts such as holiday and comp time are included in that exit number.
By comparison Mayor Joe Ganim appears pauperish, bringing up the rear at number 99 on the list, receiving roughly $168,000 in pay for the year.
In the case of Police Chief Roderick Porter who placed second on the list his overall payout includes his 2022 summer retirement prior to applying for the top cop job.
See full top 100 grid with complete category earnings breakdown: top 100 2022.
Just a handful of non-police personnel such as fire officials and educators appear on the list.
Police leading the top 100 is nothing new but the percentage in 2022 represents a commanding presence with the city losing personnel power to retirements and departures to other departments coupled with hiring issues, a national trend as forces struggle to recruit new hires amid numerous law enforcement controversies.
What was once a highly desired profession has pained departments to fill the gaps, something Porter has prioritized for 2023.
You can’t blame the cops for earning if it’s available. The looming question, however, is something Porter himself has raised about past practice of parceling out overtime when it was not necessary.
In a mayoral election year police staffing will certainly receive its share of give and take among the candidates.
See top 100 below. Fuller picture here.