As with many professions, pay for a New York City traffic cop increases over time. The base pay is also augmented by longevity, holiday time, uniform allowance and night-shift differential. There are many other benefits in the collective bargaining agreement of the largest police union in the United States that sweeten the financial pot for traffic cops. The base salary for a New York cop begins at $41,975, which is the amount paid to recruits while they are in the training academy, though other factors bring that total to $44,744 before they graduate.
After graduating from the police academy and making it through his first six months on the job, a New York City cop gets his first salary increase, receiving a total annual pay of $46,288. He has proven himself, to some extent, and is rewarded with a pay raise. Some police departments around the country might view the pay of this six-month veteran as inordinately high, especially when compared to smaller towns. Keep in mind that it is expensive to live in New York City.
After one and one-half years on the force, a typical New York City cop gets another pay bump to $48,173 in total annual pay. Compared with future increases, this one is not spectacular, but every little bit helps. So far, the salary increases have been limited to about $2,000 each step of the way. As the policeman moves into his third and fourth years of work, the raises become incrementally larger, and other benefits, like paid vacation pay, kick in to a greater extent.
At the five-year mark, the cop is firmly established in his career and is rewarded accordingly by a total salary of $69,005. His most recent annual increases have been in the $4,000 to $7,000 range. His training and experience and proven ability to do a tough job make him worth a higher monetary investment in order to keep him around. By the time a New York City cop passes the six-year mark, his salary jumps to $90,829, according to the New York Police Department website.
New York police officers are members of a union that collectively bargains with the city for pay and benefits. Each contract runs for a certain length of time, after which union leaders and city officials return to the bargaining table to reach another agreement. The salary scale can fluctuate from contract to contract but tends to go up in response to inflation and continual pressure from the bargaining process.
Traffic Enforcement Agents
While many NYPD officers are assigned to traffic duty, the city also hires civilians for the position of Traffic Enforcement Agent (TEA). These agents are not required to attend the police academy, with their job duties being solely related to traffic enforcement. The TEA position is broken down into four levels. A level-one salary starts at $29,217, while a level four begins at $40,576. If interested, a traffic enforcement agent can seek to be promoted to the police department.