Friday, April 1, 2011

Pacifica Five-O Personnel Breakdown

Someone sent me the following (in blue,) wondering if the structure of Pacifica Five-O might be a little top-heavy on the management side. I'm not convinced there's a problem, but it's still interesting to see a break down of local police personnel. 

1 Police Chief
3 Captains
8 Sergeants
--------------------------------------------- 8 bosses

18 police officers
---------------------------------------------- 18 street cops

1 Communcations Supervisor
5 Dispatchers
1 police records supervisor
1 evidence technician
0.5 property clerk
1 admin. assistant
---------------------------------------------- 9.5 in building


one boss per 2.25 street cops
one boss per 3.43 employee (cops plus building)

Relating the personnel breakdown to what I remember from when I was a cop in the Air Force, I can understand the need for a police chief and 3 captains.  I'm not totally sure what the job description for a sergeant is, but if they're primarily supervisory personnel as opposed to patrolling officers, 8 sergeants does seems like a lot for 18 street cops. On the other hand, on my base we had plenty of sergeants doing routine patrol duty - me included.

An interesting comparison is, for my base of 7000 people, we had three patrols and a patrolling supervisor on duty per shift. A couple of years ago, I was talking to Chief Saunders at a City Council meeting, and he told me that Pacifica, a city of 38,000, has three patrols and a patrolling supervisor on duty during day shifts, and two patrols and a patrolling supervisor on duty at night. That is apparently the state minimum, so the city doesn't have the option of reducing service beyond that.

Posted by Steve Sinai


Recession Robby said...

We may be bare-bones staffed but I bet we're not bare-bones payroll. I wonder what the pay scales are for all that brass.

todd bray said...

The state controllers website has a link but the 2009 numbers are not low. The average for captains was $150,00, Sargents avg. was $140,000 and corporals avg. was $130,000. The compensation report (same one that has Firefighters) lists the Police Chiefs salary $171,688.

For a city the size of Pacifica we sure have a lot of employees between fire, police and senior staff that are earning more than $120,000 a year. I count 80 that made more than $100,000 a year in 2009 and 35 that made more than $120,000 a year in 2009.

God bless them all but ARE YOU F#$%ING KIDDING ME? We are a small little coastal town of 39,000 folks floating $100,000 salaries for 80 people, and 35 of them make more than $120,000? No flipping wonder we are broke.

The only way we are going to survive is massive wage cuts, with a higher percentage coming from the top earners. Given the enormity of these salaries how f#$%ing DARE senior staff push a fire assessment tax on us!

Scotty said...

We don't get to decide how much people are paid -- typically, the market does. A more interesting analysis would be how our civil servants are paid relative to other like positions in like cities.

Kathy Meeh said...

"A more interesting analysis would be how our civil servants are paid relative to other like positions in like cities."

This year some city employee pensions were brought-up to the county average according to city council agenda documents. How many, what kind, any changes following union negotiations-- I don't know.

Then there are the structural issues. Governor Brown intends to address some pension reform. This is in the news today, and here's a link to one text report from KPCC southern CA public radio.

This ordinary citizen doesn't understand why State, County, City employees do not have social security as the basis of their pension system system, similar to private industry. Last night on TV news I heard a public employee complaining that his pension would be cut to only 60% of income. Social security, on the other hand, covers 40% of income. Social security also needs reform to cover more benefit than it does.

Wally the Working Stiff said...

I remember the old days when someone would go to work for a city or county because it was job security. They would sacrifice the fat paydays for the knowledge that they would have a job in 20 years. Ha! They still have that job after 20 years but now they have the 100k+ paydays and the fat pensions. Why? Because they own the politicians, that's why.

Steve Sinai said...

According to an article in today's San Mateo County Times, Redwood City's average base salary for a cop is $111,876, excluding overtime, benefits and other compensation. Menlo Park's average base salary for a cop is $109,000, excluding overtime, benefits and other compensation.

Those represent the two highest base salaries for police in the county.

Anonymous said...

Oh don't worry. The fire tax will pass because voters feel they have no choice. We'll continue to lurch and limp from crisis to crisis. Just like so many other cities that haven't figured out this isn't a temporary situation. We're living in a new economic world where there are no buyers for homes but plenty of demand for apartments and every new business means the pie is sliced again. Will this city figure it out? Definitely not but we'll argue it to death and pay richly for the privilege. Make that insolvency and bankruptcy. Oblivious to the end.

Anonymous said...

According to an earlier S.M. Co. Times article, the totla yearly value of a Pacifica police officer's compensation was approximately $180,000. That's salary, benefits and pension combined. In contrast, a San Mateo County Sheriff's officer's position is worth $209,000.
Think that's sustainable?

Anonymoose said...

Pacifica's getting a good deal, then.

Anonymous said...

Well shoot, somebody's getiing a good deal but I doubt it's Pacifica.

Anonymous said...

@Scotty - it doesn't matter what police or fire officer's have made in other cities - what matters is that WE cannot afford to pay them these grossly exaggerated salaries, with pensions that WILL bankrupt this city. WE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY !

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Who cares what other cities pay? We can't afford these salaries and not just police and fire. The days when we had to compete for city employees are gone forever. Never believed that nonsense anyway. It's put out by HR and city execs who have a vested interest in salaries going up and want their recruitments to go easier--if they don't outsource them to some consultant. And if the grass is greener elsewhere well god bless. Go for it. Nothing wrong with turnover. Bottom line we can't afford these salaries and pensions.

Anonymous said...

Fire the lawyers and we will have plenty of money for all.

Scotty said...

"@Scotty - it doesn't matter what police or fire officer's have made in other cities"

Ummm... It does if we plan to employee anyone. You can't just pout, stomp your feet, and tell people to take a 20% pay cut if they have an option to not take that pay cut the next city over.

Anonymous said...

Ummm...that last voice you heard was city hall.

Scotty said...

Ummmm... That last voice you heard was the aforementioned person who likes to pout and stomp his or her feet (but who really needs to invest in an "Economics for Dummies" book).

Howard Jarvis said...

"Mayor Nihart said that the city does not have control over how North County Fire Authority sets up its budget or how much it pays its employees and so cannot pay less money toward those salaries".

This is from the Patch story on the chances of the parcel tax passing. So now we learn that it's not our responsibility to set the firefighter's payscale, just our responsiblitly to pay them!

Anonymous said...

Was that info buried somewhere in the mailers and ads promoting the fire suppression tax? Is there anything the city is in control of other than passing the hat and passing the buck?