By Wyatt Earp | July 11, 2005
A year ago, I made the mistake of taking the Detective’s test. After ten years as a Philadelphia police officer, I needed a change in scenery. Detective is a great gig. It is a promotion – with a 10% raise in salary, not including the extra court overtime – that gets me out of patrol and into “soft clothes.” To be honest, a three-year old monkey could push a squad car around for eight hours a day, but detectives need brain power. (Hey, no wisecracks!)
To my surprise, I did very well on the exam. I am currently #18 on the promotional list (out of approximately 1,500 test takers), which is active for two years. Basically, if and when our obscenely corrupt mayor decides to promote, I’ll make it in the first batch. Sweet, right?
In three weeks, the current list will be one year old. Or, as I like to think of it, halfway to expiration. The mayor has told anyone who will listen that the city doesn’t have the money needed to make promotions at this time – even though the city shelled out $500,000 to tree-hugging hippie Bob Geldolf for his terrible Live 8 concert. (Maybe Geldolf can hold a concert to raise money for the police?)
The department is losing five to ten officers, supervisors, and detectives each day to the Optional Early Retirement Plan. The Detective Division in my patrol area is usually (under)staffed with three detectives a night. The “normal” complement in a Division is at least six. Long story short: the current detectives are under-staffed, over-worked, and burning out fast.
I would like very much to give them a hand, but the way things are going, Katie Holmes will win an Oscar before I get promoted.