That's the question following Mayor Mike McGinn's blistering condemnation of the police union and a force that lives—by a four-to-one margin—outside the city limits. Some people in comments insist, "No, captain, it's impossible to live inside Seattle on that pittance. Officers must live in the outer nebula and commute." But Eric Arr in comments digs in:
Here's a full list of all City of Seattle employees and their salaries for 2009: *
I just ran the numbers to get a quick estimate of what cops in Seattle actually earn. I filtered out all of the non-sworn personnel and counted just the 1279 non-student sworn officers I was able to quickly identify.
Including overtime, the average sworn SPD officer earned about $114,300.00 in 2009.
Excluding overtime, the average sworn SPD officer earned $103,600.00 in 2009.
In case anyone is wondering, Ian Birk earned about $71k plus another $2k in overtime. About a third of his total 2009 compensation was paid leave.
* Original source is apparently the WA State Office of Financial Management.
I can't vouch for these numbers, but they make the point even if they're in the ballpark. I'm not going to post how much I make (cuz writers make ba-hank, holler), but it's less than a Seattle cop. Also, there's no overtime pay. And I live in the city. I can afford to live in the city. So can Seattle cops.
Plaudits to Eric Arr.