The “unprecedented” horde of approximately 1,300 people that showed up to apply for the Stockton Police Department this week despite cuts to police pay and benefits proves — if further proof were needed — that Stockton overpaid police. There’s plenty of demand for the job at a reduced rate because the reduced rate is still good.
If further proof were needed, the police union’s overwhelming ratification of its contract with the city provides it.
None of this is to disparage police. They deserve respect and support. But also market-rate compensation, not budget-busting largesse from a blue-collar city spending like it is Laguna Beach.
Some will wonder if many candidates are low-budget wannabes lacking qualifications. But then the PD has only seven open positions. Candidates could wash out at a rate of 150 to 1 and there would stilll be more qualified applicants than slots.
The seven hires have a multiplier effect, by the way. When the seven hires bring the force to its 344 budgeted positions, a federal grant kicks in and funds 17 more police. Evidently Stockton won’t have trouble filling those positions.