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New Jersey has the highest paid police officers in the nation with a median salary in excess of $90,000 per year. But that doesn't stop them from demanding more and more while everyone else is being forced to make do with less and less.
More than 15,000 police and firefighters rallied in Trenton today to protest Governor Chris Christie's proposed cuts in public employee benefits.
The phrase, "more nerve than cheap veal cutlet" comes to mind.
Their lament is always the same. Any cuts in police salary or benefits will "compromise public safety". But Chris Christie isn't scared of their bluff.
"That's the card they always play and that's why they have $47,000 in benefits and $90,000 in average salary because they scare people," Christie said.
10-4 on that "scare people" meme. According to their brother officers in Ohio, "Funny thing about cops, they hold grudges."
It's almost like they're getting ready to protect and serve themselves.
Funny thing about us taxpayers though. We don't have infinite money. Sooner or later the well will run dry. So, it's their choice — accept some modest reductions now, or get ready for the day when the checks simply stop coming.
At a news conference in his office, Christie reiterated his personal respect for the police officers and firefighters but insisted that the costs of their pensions, health care costs and other fringe benefits must be put in check.
"However, that does not mean that they are entitled to continue to receive the benefits at the level they are receiving," Christie said.
Ultimately the pace of such costs will bankrupt the pension and health care funds, he said. "We simply can not afford it any longer," he said.
If unions do not compromise now, the state will head into a "financial abyss," he said. "There's not going to be a pension for them to collect," he said.
There seems to be a disturbing trend brewing in which the distinction between the police and the police unions becomes blurred. And as that distinction is erased people will start to ask why we should respect the police when they don't respect us.
Surely the rank-and-file police officers still understand that we are all
taxpayers and we're all hurting. It would behoove them to impress that fact
union leaders (and their patrons in the Democratic Party) before it's
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