Relief May Come To Underpaid Police Officers

RANKIN (KDKA) — As a part-time police officer in Rankin, C.L. Gunter makes a little more than $9 an hour — pretty much the standard wage in the cash-strapped towns of the Mon Valley.

“Nine, $10 an hour, putting my life on the line every day – ridiculous,” he said.

The most glaring example of this inequity is Clairton Officer James Kuzak. He was shot three times in April in the line of duty while making $11 an hour.

While Kuzak struggles to regain use of his legs, he’s dedicated himself to bringing that pay up for his fellow officers.

“And it’s a fight we’ve been doing for a long time and it’s the only goal that we have,” he said.

But now that the KDKA Investigators called attention to the issue, those officers may be getting some relief.

State Sen. James Brewster has introduced a bill to establish a minimum wage of $15 an hour for all police officers in the state.

Increased fines on moving violations would make up the difference for financially-challenged towns.

“I’ve had some discussions with other senators,” Brewster said. “I think they understand what we’re trying to do and I think it will eventually pass.”

It’s good news for officers like C.L. Günter.

“Now $15 – I could work with that,” he said.

So now there is hope for police officers in the Mon Valley that they can continue to serve the public and get a living wage for doing it.

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  • Student

    It is about time! Officers have been underpaid for to long, you can work at Sheetz and earn up to $8.75 an hour starting wage, $9 and hour is not enough for people to put their lives at risk every moment they are on the job. …I hope this really does take effect, we are truly blessed to have people that are willing to make our neighborhoods a safer place and should start respecting them more. Thank you officers, everyday!

    • Worried

      This to me is a feel good law as with most of these laws they will state that officers will have to be paid $15 an hour and offset the costs but what will happen is that more towns will end up disbanding their PD’s and using State Police. I would like to see more income but the reality is most towns do not write enough citations to offset the increase and we do not want them to.

  • FBrackenridgePD

    “Nine, $10 an hour, putting my life on the line every day – ridiculous,” he said.

    Yes it is, but the real reason he joined the department wasn’t the cash…. It was to have undeserved power over his fellow man

    Increased fines on moving violations would make up the difference for financially-challenged towns…

    They’ve already turned reasonable suspicion into probable cause in the quest for $’s…. what’s next, checkpoints and randomly running plates?? wait, they already do that…

    Police State USA…

    • Bill Huhn

      FBrackenridgePD ..FYI you dont own that plate…PENNDOT does . You will be the first one to say… Were is a cop when you need him??? Just remember…you get what you pay for…Idiot

  • Stan

    Garbage Men deserve more than 10 bucks an hour too……they put their lives on the line and work in terrible conditions and pick up disgusting peoples trash everyday

  • Anonymous

    well u know what we hate you

  • Michael

    These officers are substandard officers to begin with. If they were not they would have already gone to a better department. Fact is they are the bottom of the bowl they do not have the education because they did not go to a credited police academy. You get what you pay for.

    • FBrackenridgePD

      Exactly… I strongly urge anyone who is arrested or cited by one of these part timers to hire the best lawyer you can afford. They simply do not know the laws they were hired to enforce and will lie at every chance to cover their butts.

      Get a good lawyer,
      Get the video tape,
      Get off scott free!!!

      • "Accredited" Police Officer

        Obviously with your post name you ran into some sort of trouble in Brankenridge which I’m sure you “didn’t deserve”. You obviously don’t know too much about law enforcement nor does your buddy Michael that posted above. As for Michael, EVERY law enforcement Officer in PA has to be certified by an accredited police academy, MPOETC governs the rules as to the PA standards. NO Police Officer is working that has not gone through an accredited police academy. Second for Michael, the reason they are not with a better department is because jobs are scarce, as is everything in this economy. You must test for a position and there may only be one or two openings over a couple year period, not enough to filll all the willing individuals that put themselves through the academy and desire to do something positive.

        Both of you knuckleheads want to write garbage on this website because you think it will provoke others and it’s easy for you to do because you hide behind your keyboard like little sissys. If either one of you had any guts, you’d strap on a gun and bullet proof vest five days a week and go into unkown and dangerous situations every day of your life. But, obviously you are both cowards and would rather sit in mommy and daddy’s house and write ridiculous posts about the police. Let me guess, you’re both very productive members of society with so much knowledge and education that you just have to share it with the rest of us. I didn’t think so…

        Back to FBrackendgePD.
        The reason checkpoints have been ruled legal through the US Supreme Court is so Police have the ability to take drunk drivers off of our roadways. See, that is meant to protect you and your families so that you do not get killed by an irresponsible individual that chooses to disobey the law. But, I would imagine that you are one of those individuals that does disobey the law, hence the reason you have so much animosity towards Police. I only hope that some day you need the Police because you get robbed, car stolen, burgarlized, shot, assaulted or what have you and the Police do the job they are paid to do and offer you some sort of reconciliation. I would imagine only then would you realize the value of the Police in our society. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say deep down inside I hope something very tragic happens to you and the Police can’t solve the crime because you advised everyone to “not talk to the Police” and to not cooperate and to hire good lawyers. Oh yeah and that Police are overpaid and undereducated. If all that works out for you when you need assistance, I’m sure you’ll still have some stupid smart alec remark to make.

        Why don’t you do all of us a favor, those of us that are working hard for a living and trying to do some good for society, and just stay off of the news sites and quit posting uneducated and inflammatory remarks for no apparent reason. But, once again, I’m sure you won’t because you’re a COWARD that hides behind a computer and thinks people value your opinion. Let me clue you in on something, people don’t, though I’m sure you already know that.

        I challenge both of you Police haters to do something positive if you think the current Police don’t do a good enough job: Go to an “accredited” Police academy, take a Police test and get a job doing it. Then you can provide the quality of service that is up to your standards. Or, just sit back and write about it….. yeah I think you’ll just do that.

    • ROBO 66

      WHAT!!! And let me guess you are a “expert” on police training in PA. All local police officers who are certified to work in PA go through the same training, which is mandated by MOPETC, which is overseen by the State Police. Working part time doesnt make you a substandard officer. A large majority of small local towns and boroughs use part time officers to offset costs because they cant afford to hire more full time officers. So before u state your so called “facts”, maybe you could attempt to go through the academy and strap on a badge and see just how tough it is out there!!!!

      • ROBO 66

        Oh and when I first became an officer, I started part time in my home town for $8.00 and hour, purchased my own gear, and had no benefits!! So I didnt do it for the money, I did it to protect morons like you who swell their chest up while hiding behind a computer screen. So again, I invite you to try to do the job before you start talking s#@t!!

  • Jeff

    like my boss tells me, if you dont like it there’sthe door. Be happy you have a job.


      You’re a moron – you probably don’t have the kahunas to be a police officer, and you sure wouldn’t do it for $9.00 an hour. By the way, your boss is a moron too..

      • Anonymous

        This is america. Let them quit if they do not like it

  • BeanMan

    While, how in the world did we ever survive without the internet for all those years? Just read all of the stupid remarks on this story. These poor, poor idiots had nowhere to express themselves publically about things like police pay. Doesn’t matter that they have never been a in police work, but do they have an opinion.

    Thanks you internet!!!!

  • Dave

    No such thing as an underpaid job. If it’s a job, then the employee accepted the offer. Wonder where the gvt will step in to regulate minimum pay for other jobs (no more volunteer fireman!?!?), ems, etc…. If you don’t think any given job is worth $$, then don’t accept it.

  • Popo

    All I know is that springdale boro has a bunch of cops in their early twenties because they pay so little. I dont know if its a good or bad thing.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone who risks their life for their job deserves better pay. Period. Everybody hates the police until they NEED them….

  • Anonymous

    Everybody hates the police, until the NEED them. Risk your life on the job you deserve way more than 10 bucks an hour. Hats off to those who do their duty for pennies,,,,its shameful!

  • Relief May Come To Underpaid Police Officers « Positive LEO


  • Anonymous

    While I think the pay is low for the job, these fine men accepted it when they signed on. Just like volunteer firemen run into burning houses or climb into a flipped car hoping an airbag doesn’t go off, FOR FREE.

    Sorry, while I respect the police I have no sympathy for someone complaining about the pay AFTER they accepted it.

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