About 14% of new police recruits have dropped out of the latest Police Academy class of over 1,000 recruits, and some are worried that the city's crimefighting programs will be hurt. Notably, "Operation Impact," which Police Commissioner Ray Kelly credit withs helping decrease crime by 25-30% by concentrating cops in those "impact areas" may be without more police officers. Kelly blames the attrition partly on the low starting salary of $25,100.

Indeed, many police recruits find themselves scraping by. Still, Kelly said, "Most of the attrition does happen early on, which is in the first month two months of the class and that's what happened in this class. So we'll have to wait and see as we get closer to the graduation date as to whether or not we'll be able to field a full impact contingent."

However, the Patrolman's Benevolent Association believes that the starting salaries aren't even half the problem. PBA president Patrick Lynch told WCBS 2, "Top pay for NYPD is $59,000. Suffolk County is $100,000, 80,000 in Nassau County." Outside of the city, starting and top pay for police officers is much higher, not to mention usually less stressful, and that has led to many NYC police officers to apply for jobs in the suburbs.

As it happens, today the Daily News has an editorial that actually blames Lynch for undermining police pay and the bringing police recruiting to such a low, by forcing the police pay negotiations with the city to go through arbitration (other municipal unions have dealt with the Bloomberg administration directly and gotten favorable deals).

Photograph of the police station in Times Square by lachance on Flickr