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Bill Ties Police Raises to Education

Bill Ties Police Raises to Education

They should be able to get advanced degrees in a whole host of areas, not just in public safety.

Associated Press

BOSTON — Police officers would be eligible for pay raises after completing a variety of college courses — not just those associated with law enforcement — under legislation proposed at the Statehouse.

State Rep. Martin Walsh, D-Dorchester, wants to expand the Quinn Bill, which gives raises of up to 25 percent to officers with college degrees.

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Walsh’s bill would delete language in the law that directs the state Board of Higher Education to maintain a list of approved courses leading to law enforcement degrees. He said officers should be able to take courses in areas increasingly important to their work, such as computer science and chemistry.

“The job of a police officer is a lot different from what it was 20 or 30 years ago,” he said. “They should be able to get advanced degrees in a whole host of areas, not just in public safety.”

But critics said the bill would give pay raises for classes that offer few benefits to the public.

“They could get a master’s degree in basket-weaving and still get a 25 percent pay increase,” said Sam Tyler of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, a government watchdog group. “This would be a real step back in terms of trying to ensure that a well-educated police force is serving the public.”

Legislators amended the Quinn Bill, which costs about $105 million annually, in 2003 after reviews found officers were getting raises for classes of questionable value. Degree programs now must be approved by the Department of Higher Education.

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  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 2 years ago


    The rising cost of higher education has spurred many students to shop around for the least expensive colleges and universities. You can obtain a quality college education cheaply at both private and public universities. The best teachers can help our education system the most, by providing the best to our kids.

  • Photo_user_banned_big


    almost 8 years ago


    This is probably the only way we can ever get the money we deserve. In my state, most agencies dont care if u have a degree. I think it helps the quality of force.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 8 years ago


    I am for any Bill that will increase the pay for LEOs. We US citizens all to often over look the type of incidents that we expect our officers to cope with on a daily basis. If you compair the pay and benefits of our military personnel to to the same time and grade of LEOs I think that you would be supprised at the difference. I don't begrudge our US armed forces their pay and benefits by any means. Been there and done that. They have a tuff job.
    I recently retired after 30 years, the last 20 with the same dept. I now have to go back to work in order to survive. This is after our Chief has begged and pleaded for more money. He has done a fantastic job of getting us better equipment, cars and even better pay by way of incentives such as higher education, 2nd language and advanced academy approved training. The problem is that he has to fight for it every step of the way. Federal or even state mandated legislation providing these pay increases would be a God-send.

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