Big Apple has been ditched by more than 15 NYPD cops and instead of that they will be joining the force which is in a small Florida city, it is also part of a nationwide trend of disgruntled officers who are to find greener pastures in pro-police communities.
Lakeland is a community of around 108,000 people, which is situated almost 35 miles east of Tampa. They have been mounting a social media campaign since the beginning of this year targeting NYC cops and in the month of April, they even dispatched a delegation to recruit in Times square.
Last year, fourteen former Finest moved to Lakeland, among those 14, 12 of them wooed over the past two months to the recruiting trip.
In a press conference held in the month of September, after heeding Lakeland’s call of duty, Matthew Spoto, who is a former NYPD cop said that “The respect accorded cops in Florida was an eye-opener.”
In New York, “it was almost like I was ashamed to be a law enforcement officer,” he said.
A Lakeland recruiter told them “that you could park your police vehicles in front of your house … I thought that was mind-blowing,” Spoto said, contending that the “tools and laws” given NYC cops don’t allow them to succeed.
Almost 6 percent of the entire Lakeland’s force is represented by these 14 former NYPD officers and the force consists of 254 cops in total.
As per the city data, the starting earnings of these NYPD officers were $42,500. On the other hand, the Lakeland Ledger reported that the minimum PD salary is almost $53,000 in Lakeland, following a pay raise earlier this year.
One of the facts that were emphasized by a Lakeland recruiter during their recruiting trip was that the work in Florida comes without the burden of city or state income taxes.
Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said in a statement that, “Many New York City cops are weighing our sub-standard salary against the ever-increasing challenges, scrutiny, and abuse, and they’re voting with their feet,”
“They don’t even need to go all the way to Florida. There are many better-paying police departments in and around NYC, and they’re hiring,” said Lynch. “We certainly don’t blame anybody for leaving. But New York City needs to wake up,” said Lynch.