Monday, August 01, 2005

The Heat is On... On the Street!

I am resistant to heat. My body has not forgotten life in Arizona, and so long as there is a breeze, I'm not a bit bothered by anything less than 90 degrees.

That said, the computer heats my room up to about 5 degrees above outside temperature. So, unfortunately, it spent most of this steamy weekend OFF. I'm really behind in programming, but I'm not so good at programming in 92-degree heat, 95% humidity, no breeze, 2 hours sleep.

Bitch bitch bitch, yeah, I know.

On the other hand, the heat was on in more than one way. On Saturday, Seattle had the Torchlight Parade, which I only encountered by accident and only knew existed by dint of a cop car on every corner.

I got curious, so I asked a cop. He replied, "Oh, I guess about 300 officers, including the ones that circulate." Assuming he wasn't exaggerating much, that's a lot of cops!

How big is the Seattle PD? Maybe 3000 police? I don't know - I don't even know how to guess! A lot bigger than I thought before, I bet.

300 officers, working a six-hour control shift, is 1800 hours. That's 45 weeks of officers. That's almost a WHOLE YEAR of working. It was Saturday. Do cops get time and a half? If so, it was 68 weeks of officers - significantly more than a year!

How much do they get paid? Seattle is supposed to be right at the top of the "paying our cops" ladder, so these flatfoots were probably getting between 30k and 50k per year. So the parade cost, say, $35,000 dollars of salary. More accurately, probably around $70,000, since it costs the employer roughly the same as the salary to cover the worker.

That's NOT including the cost of pulling them and their cars off their normal assignments.

Did the parade cover this cost? Did the bill say: "Officers on Duty: $50,000"?

I doubt it. I find it likely that here in ultra-liberal Seattle, the city ate that bill.

Makes you think, doesn't it? an evening of marching. Nobody paid anything - watching was free. One of the costs - just one - was probably $35,000+ of police duty.

Boy, is it ever easy to spend money.


Darius Kazemi said...

Actually, in ultra-ultra liberal Massachusetts, the parade organizers would have had to pay the bill for officers, unless there was some pork barrel legislation passed to the effect. I'm betting that in Seattle, they paid the bill themselves.

Craig Perko said...

Hm, thanks for the info. I wonder how I could find out and, if I could, whether the price tag reflects in any way the actual cost to the police.