Report: NYPD Faces Crisis Over Lack of Captains

Monday, 10 Mar 2014 09:31 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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The New York Police Department is confronting a leadership crisis because lieutenants don't want to be promoted to captain and not receive overtime pay.

Even when lieutenants take the captain's exam, they have a high rate of failure, according to the New York Post.

Only 21 percent of lieutenants who were eligible to take the captain's test actually did so last year, down from 66 percent in 1997, NYPD figures revealed.

Although the 2013 exam results have not yet been disclosed, only 19 percent of lieutenants scored a passing grade of 70 or higher on the test in 2012. That year, only 19 percent of eligible lieutenants took the captain's exam, the lowest number in 15 years.

NYPD sources told the Post that lieutenants are turning their backs on promotions because captains cannot earn overtime, and thus they would in essence be taking a pay cut by moving up a rank. Also, unlike lieutenants who have steady schedules, captains must perform extra duties outside their daily precinct work.

Captain is the rank eligible to command one of the city's 77 precincts or specialized units, such as Emergency Services and Counter-Terrorism as well as the Detective Bureau and Organized Crime Control Bureau, the newspaper reported.

"You could be losing a whole generation of police leaders," Professor Eugene O'Donnell of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a former NYPD officer, told the Post. "This affects every single New York City resident in a real way, because it really affects the service delivery on every street and in every neighborhood in the city.”

Roy Richter, president of the Captains Endowment Association, told the newspaper, "I consider it a failure that fewer and fewer of our highest-performing lieutenants seek promotion to the next rank.

"It comes down to salary and schedule. My union needs to work on the salary part through collective bargaining, and the NYPD [has] to normalize the schedule captains maintain."


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