Letter: Nix early retirement for cops to save the town some money

Editor, The Spotlight:

As a longtime Bethlehem resident I am concerned about the ever increasing town expenditures and the consequent rise in taxes and I have one suggestion for saving money.

We allow police officers to retire after 20 years of service with benefits, pensions, health care, etc. Why? Couldn’t they work until the age of 65 like everyone else? What is it about policing that prevents a person from working until a normal retirement? (I checked the 10 most dangerous jobs in America from several statistical sources and policing was not among the most dangerous.) Certainly, it can be a stressful job, but so many people have stressful jobs nowadays that I don’t think that qualifies them for such an early retirement.

Some ideas for a continuation of career for police who choose not to patrol any longer: We hire dispatchers to dispatch police and fire calls at the Town Hall, couldn’t these jobs be done by policemen who wanted to continue working? What about the fire department and ambulance corps, couldn’t some of these jobs be done by policemen? Could some of the police officers be retrained by the town to work in other positions such as tax department, assessor’s office, highway department, etc.?

I just don’t understand why this perk is extended to one group of town employees and no one else.

Terrence Rooney


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