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Schenectady police officer’s pay tops in city history

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Schenectady Police Officer Dwayne Johnson’s long hours on the job have placed him in the city’s record books. With his overtime and other earnings, Johnson grossed $168,921 in 2008, which is nearly triple his base pay of $57,478. The patrolman, who is known for working multiple 16-hour shifts each week, replaced Sgt. Arthur Zampella as the city’s top-earning employee and is now considered the highest-earning police officer in city history. “To make that much money, ...


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comments

JJR031
January 31, 2009
7:42 a.m.

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Well, we now know where all the tax money in Schenectady goes. Once again, the SPD doesn't fail to dissapoint.

schdy
January 31, 2009
8 a.m.

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("Lt. Robert Hamilton, the police union’s president, could not be reached for comment on Friday. Hamilton ranked 15th on the list with gross earnings of $129,908, or nearly twice his annual salary.")

How can R Hamilton do overtime when he only works one week a year! Let me qualify that in 2007 he worked one week. No reason to believe it is much different in 2008 he has a real thing going.

Maybe you (Daily Gazette) could do a story to tell us how many days this man worked in 2008. I know you wrote about it for 2007 now you really have my interest up on how he did in 2008?

wmarincic
January 31, 2009
9:32 a.m.

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schdy, you dont think running the union is working? I have seen Bobby Hamilton many times in a patrol car working the streets. The Sch'dy Police can't win no matter what they do, if they are aggressivly arresting people they are accused of violating peoples rights, if they are not arresting people they are accused of doing nothing. How about leaving them alone to do the very dangerous job that they do day in and day out. YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS!!!!!!!

KeepingItReal
January 31, 2009
10:29 a.m.

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We need some good investigative reporting to bring all the facts to city taxpayers. When we finally all realize just how outrageous this is, maybe we will be inspired as a group to address this in its proper forum once an for all.

dickc06
January 31, 2009
12:17 p.m.

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The poor taxpayers of Schenectady are taking a hit, again, from the good old SPD, and county and city administrations that never stop taking. Wasn't Bennett brought in to "oversee" the PD and reduce OT? If so, he's failed to deliver, so what's new?

I was a theft victim over a year ago, and it took me 6 months to find out the SPD was "too busy" to waste time investigating my complaint even though 2 people provided the "perps" name. He wasn't even interviewed. So what are all the investigators investigating? This administration and PD are both pathetic.

The people of Schenectady County should DEMAND consolidation of police, fire and education on a county level and start from scratch. We'd get rid of a lot of dead wood, but that would eliminate too many political jobs, too, so no local legislator would ever propose it. Hell, they want their retirement and health benefits paid for by the taxpayers for doing their "jobs" too.

What a place to live!

wmarincic
January 31, 2009
2:57 p.m.

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dickc06, The Police have no justification to question anyone just because someone gave them a name otherwise they risk being sued. Do you have any idea how many phone calls a day the Police get accusing someone of a crime by someone with a grudge? There are only so many Investigators and a whole lot of crime, in the last 3 weeks alone there have been reports of shots fired every single day. I have been calling for a $100. per year safety fee per taxpaying property that will allow for at least an additional 20 Police Officers. We just dont have the cops for the ammount of crime and it is very difficult when the administration tells you that you can't be proactive, and what motivation do these officers have to be proactive, if they are they get accused of violating the law by criminals and they lose their job and pension not to mention they have their good name dragged through the press and are ALWAYS guilty until proven innocent. How about seeing things from their side for a change, I bet you would not work under the conditions that these officers do.

myshortpencil
January 31, 2009
3:36 p.m.

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"Retired" commends the police dept. for coming in under budget, but if the budget is large enough to pay officers nearly $200,000 with benefits, isn't the budget out of whack, too?

Here's what needs to be done. Promote every police officer to the lowest managerial rank that doesn't pay overtime. Then tell them they are working 14 hours a day, or whatever it takes to drive their hourly rate down to patrolman. Then layoff the officers who are no longer needed due to the average increase in hours worked by those remaining. Any notion that nothing can be done and that these are the only prices at which public safety can be purchased is absurd. No city employee should earn more than $100,000 a year under any circumstances, from administrators to pages.

jack1680
January 31, 2009
3:54 p.m.

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The only explanation for a schenectady policeman to make $168,00o in one year means he must have lived there.

Everyone here thinks it is so easy to fix and they have there own ways to fix it. Funny... RETIRED stated they came in under budget. I bet there r plenty of SPD officers who are not making that type of money. These are the guys who live there with the exception of the union president. It is the same in every city. Ask Albany!

chrissi72
February 1, 2009
12:36 a.m.

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I have personally seen Officer Johnson in action as a Police Officer, both on and off duty. He is the epitome of what a Police Officer should be. He is a kind and fair man; a genuine asset to the SPD. I will sleep well tonight knowing he is patroling our city. He has earned EVERY penny of my tax payers dollars!

NoSenseAtAll
February 1, 2009
8:19 a.m.

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Fire Bennett and save $$$$.....Apparently he is not doing his job....Taxpayers should buy a police scanner and listen just how busy they are.....It's a lousy job to begin with and they should get paid for not being with their families...But for not solving crimes or not interviewing suspects will happen in any department...THAT is what Bennett is for...

wmarincic
February 1, 2009
10:06 a.m.

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I think the Commissioner wants to do a good job and bring the public confidence back to the SPD but you can't do it by beating down the troops and making them afraid to do the job without fear of departmental charges. I will say it again, urban Policing in Sch'dy is not the same as patrolling the thruway. We all saw with the murder last week that not even the family members of the victim were willing to help the Police but I bet if one of the cops said something that was perceived as inappropriate there would be dozens of witness's to that.

all_4_schenectady
February 1, 2009
4:40 p.m.

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unlimted paid sick time = massive overtime. what do you people expect!

all_4_schenectady
February 3, 2009
7:20 a.m.

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"it was once reported"? where? when?

unlimted sick time is slowly being weeded out? where does that data come from?

lyndzey79
February 13, 2009
12:12 p.m.

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First of all, these are the men and woman that are trying their best to serve and protect you and your families. How much is your childs life or your mothers life worth to you?? Would you say more than $168,921.98 or less? I know I would pay any price to keep my family safe. Not one of you that had negative comments about how much our police officers get paid have ANY idea what these men and woman have to go through on a daily basis. Their lives and their families lives are put at risk each and everytime they leave their homes. Would any of you like to get up off your comfy office chairs and live in their shoes for 1 hour let alone 64 hours a week??? I think not!!! Leave this man ALONE and stop being jealous because it doesnt look cute on any of you. He is worth and deserves twice as much as he made.

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