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Princeton police approved for average 2.25% salary increase

Princeton police officers will receive salary increases averaging 2.25% over the lifetime of a recently approved five-year agreement between the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 130 and the Princeton Council.

The contract, which is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020 and expires Dec. 31, 2024, provides for salary increases of 1.75% for 2020 and 2021; salary increases of 2.75% for 2022 and 2023; and 2.25% for 2024, which is the final year of the contract.

The contract negotiated between the police union and the town covers the Princeton Police Department’s patrol officers, detectives, corporals, sergeants, lieutenants and the captain. It does not apply to the police chief.

Under the terms of the contract, a patrol officer hired before Jan. 1, 2013, will earn $118,646 for 2020. At the end of the five-year contract, the patrol officer will earn $130,321. The Princeton Police Department was created on Jan. 1, 2013, when the former Princeton Borough and Princeton Township police departments merged.

Patrol officers hired after Jan. 1, 2013, were paid $59,809 while they were in the police academy during 2020. Once the patrol officer graduated from the police academy, he or she was paid $66,728 for the balance of their first year on the job.

The salary for patrol officers who were in their second year on the job was $77,479 in 2020. It topped out at $118,646 in 2020 for a patrol officer who had been on the job for 13 years.

By the fifth year of the contract in 2024, the salary is $85,103 for a patrol officer in his or her second year of work, and $130,321 for a police officer who has worked for the Princeton Police Department for 13 years.

A patrol officer who had been promoted to corporal in 2020 was paid $126,589. The corporal will be paid $139,046 in the final year of the contract.

For 2020, the salary range for the police sergeant was $130,472 for a first-year sergeant, and topped out at $137,764 for sergeants who had held the rank for five years. At the end of the contract, the salary range is $143,311 to $151,321.

A police lieutenant was paid $158,431 in 2020. In the fifth year of the contract, the lieutenant will be paid $174,021. The police captain, which is one rung below police chief, earned $167,936 in 2020 and is in line to be paid $184,462 in the last year of the contract in 2024.

Police officers also are entitled to longevity pay, beginning with their fifth year of service. Some contracts apply a set amount of money for longevity, but the PBA contract determines longevity on a percentage basis of a police officer’s salary.

At five years of service, longevity pay is set at 1% of base pay, or salary. After eight years, it is 2% of base pay and after 10 years of service, it is 3% of base pay.

By the time a police officer has worked for the Princeton Police Department for 15 years, longevity pay is 4% of base pay. It reaches 5% of base pay after 20 years of service, and 6% after 24 years.

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