Inflation as experienced by a police officer

At a COVID-safe Super Bowl party, one of the guests was a police officer who lives in our building. She was chatting with a guy who works for a small video production company. He talked about the challenge of paying rent that had gone up more than 10 percent, health insurance that was going up almost as fast, and similar inflation woes. She expressed amazement that an employer wouldn’t provide health insurance. “The company keeps the headcount below 50 so that the Obamacare rules don’t apply,” said the pinched private sector worker.

The police officer described receiving automatic pay raises in lockstep with official government inflation numbers, which she acknowledged did not keep up with the rising cost of housing here in South Florida. Although only in her 20s, she was already looking forward to retirement. “It’s based on your highest three years of earnings,” she said. “So if you work a lot of overtime near the end of your career you can get a pension that is higher than your full-time salary.”

We asked what the real world speed limit was. “I don’t pull anyone over for speeding,” she replied. “If they’re speeding, that’s a risk that they’re taking for themselves. The State Troopers, however, will even give me tickets.”

Was it worth getting a license plate celebrating law enforcement or applying stickers evidencing a donation to a police-oriented cause? “Those are the people I worry about the most,” she said, “because I know they’ll have a gun in the car.”

What about our minivan, with its “Support Education” specialty tag? (example below)

She said “Any officer who pulls over a minivan needs to reevaluate his or her priorities in life. I won’t pull over a minivan.”

Our Jupiter, Florida police department sends in the SWAT team any time there is a search warrant to be executed. “Jupiter doesn’t have a lot going on,” she responded. “I can do that too if I want. If I pull someone over and there is a warrant outstanding, I can turn it over to SWAT.”

What about enforcement of coronapanic orders? (she worked for a police department down towards Miami, where muscular governmental intervention in the life of a respiratory virus is popular) “I won’t ticket people for not wearing a mask,” she said.

We learned that one shouldn’t be too upset when the police come to investigate a neighbor’s noise complaint. “It won’t hold up in court if there isn’t a calibrated noise measurement and we don’t have any meters,” she said.

(Why was the party “COVID-safe”? Everyone in the room was following the same mask protocols that the spectators in the stadium that we saw on TV were following and we know that California Follows the Science.)

18 thoughts on “Inflation as experienced by a police officer

  1. “I won’t pull over a minivan.”

    Was this cop an 8 year old by the name of “GREENSPUN”? Never saw any female cops in Calif*. It’s a physically demanding job involving getting dragged behind cars all the time.

  2. Video Production Companies not Supplying Health Insurance:

    Since most smartphone cameras (at least at the higher ends) are now capable of taking and/or streaming video of much-better-than-average quality (and editing it) on the cheap than just a few years ago, this business is in a race to the bottom the past decade with only people who can afford the pros. even considering it.

    I know one who spent tens of thousands on equipment and software, computers, etc., went broke in New Jersey and moved to Arizona. I don’t know what he does now, but if anything the video production is a side gig at best, not a career. My sense is that except for a few very well-established companies, there’s no room for health insurance coverage in the plan, and it’s a gig economy feudal job. I feel badly for my friend, he’s still working his networks in the film industry, but the technology people hold in their hands now is absolutely awesome.

    • Just as an example of what One Man and a Couple of Cameras can do, one of my fave YouTubers is TGV and his channel “The Urban Gentry” which is dedicated to his watch and timepiece addiction pursing that fetish as a career. He does everything himself from one end to the other. Admittedly, TGV is a +smarter guy than average, but the available technology has just altered the landscape. I can definitely understand why the “survivors” in video production are in a dog-eat-dog ‘sitch.

      [BTW TGV knows his stuff about watches – he makes his real money buying and selling – who has some respect for history and a flair for and presentation even — if you don’t like Hugo, the “cultured” Tyrannosaurus Rex who occasionally stops by to give him grief.]

    • Heh. The people going into video production really don’t even have pR0n anymore as a backstop. I was thinking there might be a path that connects a business like catering and event management with drone photography + videography, but COVID put a serious hurt on all those things, too.

  3. If I had known then what I know now, I would have ditched everything and everyone in 1990 and become a NJ State Trooper or – even better – I would have moved to one of the better suburbs and become a cop there. There are no better jobs in this world from a pay+benefits+retirement perspective and if you are young and relatively fit and brave and enjoy some heart-stopping adventure from time to time, they are the best jobs in the WORLD except for higher-level State Government offices. And “Defund the Police” isn’t going to happen, except for places where it will have even worse adverse consequences.

    • @perplexed: Better yet, both! I know as a matter of fact that there are many millionaire police officers in New Jersey because some of them have gotten very good stock and investment advice from some of the people they also Protect and Serve.

  4. female police officer should join the SWAT team so she can give chase to the speeding minivans with suspicious license plates and bumper stickers and help get out of the pink ghetto and past the glass ceiling.

  5. Hello, I am a 44 y/o local police officer and Iove my job! After dropping out of high school, the only job I could get was washing cars. However, after I earned my GED, I took my city’s civil service police officer exam and scored high enough to get offered a job! The city sent me to the police academy and after I graduated put me on patrol duty. The city paid for my A.S. degree in Criminal Justice. You wouldn’t believe how easy that degree was – all the instructors were just moonlighting cops from other cities. We mostly just sat around telling war stories.

    Since my coworkers aren’t too bright, I’ve climbed the ranks and I’m now a Lieutenant earning $150K base pay, and over $200K with OT. The OT is pretty easy since there’s no real oversight, I’m able to fudge my timecards a little. I’m eligible for full retirement in two years, so I’m really trying to chomp up the OT and spike my pension. My pension, starting at age 45, will be more than my base pay!

    I calculate my pension in two years to be just over $150K per year. In 20 years, I’ll be 65 (the retirement age for most of you stiffs), the 3% COLA will have nearly doubled my pension to $300K per year! My life expectancy is 88 years of age, so my pension will double again to almost $600K per year by the time I die. It gets better; my lovely 20-year old Filipina mail-order bride will collect my pension long after I die. Her life expectancy is 90 years of age. She’ll collect my growing pension for another 25 years after my death! Twenty-five years on the job will trigger almost 70 years of growing monthly pension checks! My community has been very, very good to me. And I know you don’t feel appreciated, but a big thank you to the local property taxpayers. Now get back to work and pay those taxes! Oh, by the way, F.U. Pay Me!

  6. Kim Potter, the former Minnesota Police Officer, got sentenced to two years in prison on her manslaughter conviction. She mistook her handgun for her taser and shot an unarmed uncooperative motorist attempting to flee a traffic stop.

    • I’m sorry for Kimberly Potter, she should not have been found guilty.

      For those who are thinking, well she pulled the trigger — for a moment, think of it this way: what if Daunte Wright was on his way to commit a murder? Or what if there was someone abducted in the trunk? Or what if, ? Has Potter let Wright go, there could have been an incident caused by Wright and Potter would still be held accountable for not doing her job.

      To bad for Daunte Wright, he got what was coming for him. If it wasn’t going to happen through this incident, it would have been though some other non-police related incident and it would not have made the news [1]. Keep in mind, he had a record and warrant to be arrested.

      [1] There are far more killing that goes on every day where cops are not involved vs when cops are involved:

    • Kimberly Potter was in fact guilty of manslaughter, the jury found correctly and more importantly she knew she was guilty of manslaughter in the first few seconds after she pulled the trigger. It was a terribly unfortunate incident for all concerned but that case was correctly decided. She had the wrong weapon in her clear field of vision when she pulled the trigger and fired it. There are many other details as well regarding her placement at the scene and her qualifications to be there at the time but there was no doubt in my mind (or hers!) that she was going to prison as a result of what she had done.

    • @George A.: You can’t deaths due to police (or anyone else’s) gunfire based on what someone “might have deserved” or “would have happened to them later” or anything of that sort. She was in a high-adrenaline situation, drew her service firearm incorrectly instead of the taser she thought she had in her hand, and the result was Daunte Wright died from a gunshot wound instead of being incapacitated by a taser shot. You can’t take bullets back, the adrenaline and “what might be in the trunk” is immaterial, and she knew that almost at the moment it happened.

      But if you had been on the mistaken end of a police officer’s gun during a live fire incident like that, I would want the jury to decide the same way. Otherwise police could go around saying: “Yeah, we shot George A. because of what he might have had in his trunk.”

    • In situations like this one, I always recommend people review Massad Ayoob’s “Judicious Use of Deadly Force” – which is a comparatively old version at this point and it looks like Mas is drinking a cup of Pure Testosterone Coffee, but nevertheless is still a good starting point for people who want a solid grounding in Lethal Force law. Then read some more, including your state and local laws, and understand what they mean. There is no such concept as: “At some point, that brother/sister/binary resister is going to deserve it, so it was OK.”

      That’s HOLLYWOOD.

    • @Alex, I don’t think we will see this eye-to-eye, but let me try again.

      Wright already had records and a warrant to be arrested, Wright was in the process of being handcuff, and Wright resisted arrest and run away. After all, ALL the news and media coverages of cops killed so called innocent victims, shouldn’t Wright have known better to simply let Potter do her job? When Wright phoned him mom, didn’t / shouldn’t his mom have told him “Son, don’t do anything stupid.”? But no, Wright still thinks he can get away without a scratch fully knowing he is breaking the law.

      I’m sick and tired of endless news and media converge of police killing so called innocent victims be it intentionally or accidently. The total number of such killing per-year is far less then the total number of killing per-day committed by criminals. Heck, you can have a 24×7 TV programming devoted to homicides and yet you won’t be able to cover them all in 1 day (we average over 60 homicides per day [1] in this country).

      Wright got what was coming to him, too bad it came in the hand of a cop.

      Btw, I will watch that video at some other time, but I don’t think anything will change my view on how I feel about cops killing so called innocent criminals — at least not until when the media and politician treat homicides committed by criminals in the same way.


    • @George A. I understand the sentiment and even the argument, but that isn’t how the law works and it has to apply to the police as well. And it works the other way, also. For example, by my lights and from everything I’ve heard, Alec Baldwin should be in a jail cell facing a manslaughter charge, not out walking around and giving interviews to George Stephanopoulos and MCing at Human Rights Awards banquets. But he is a prominent Liberal and presumably anti-2nd Amendment and AntiNRA so his heart was in the right place when the gun he was holding went off and killed his director of photography.

      The correct application of Lethal Force Law also exonerated Kyle Rittenhouse. I think the juries have done a really good job recently, in all the prominent cases we’ve heard about.

      When I saw the video of this incident, the first thing I thought was: “That’s Manslaughter. He was resisting but she did not have a reason to use Lethal Force on him.”

      Anyway, no offense to you intended. I’ve just spent a lot of time around guns and I’ve read and seen many, many things – some very paradoxical.

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