Skip to comments.Pensions: 'I Am A Retired Detroit Cop. I Hope This Will Not Happen To You.'
Posted on 11/07/2013 2:36:09 PM PST by bkopto
I am a retired Detroit Police Officer and this is my story. I hope this will not happen to you.
I joined the Detroit Police Department in 1986. At that time the city had an agreement with the federal government that made Detroit Police officers ineligible for social security and Medicare. We were led to believe that this was to our benefit. We were told that we would be taken care of upon retirement with a pension and health care.
Today, this is no longer true. Because of the bankruptcy filing by the city of Detroit, the Emergency Manager has stripped me and my fellow officers of our health-care coverage and is trying to void our pension income.
I spent more than 23 years with the Detroit Police Department as a patrol officer. I patrolled the streets of Detroit. I answered calls for service. I did not have an administrative job, nor was I an executive. I have seen some really horrific scenes and fought against the worst violent acts that most people cannot even imagine.
I have uncovered babies from shallow graves, responded to domestic-violence incidents, armed robberries, and murder scenes. I have discovered heads blown off, double ax murders, and mummified bodies in abandoned buildings.
I have saved people from being killed. I have found lost children and returned missing relatives to safety when they wandered, were carjacked, or were taken away by force. And I have come into your home or the home of someone you know when help, safety, and security were needed to help the citizens of Detroit.
I have lost more friends in the line of duty than anyone should.
I have been shot at more times than you can count; and
I have been run over.
I loved my job.
In 1996, I was on my way back to the First Precinct after patrolling the streets. I proceeded through a green light near the precinct and was struck by a vehicle that ran a red light. I do not remember much about the accident because I was in a coma for six days. I had a very serious head injury. I was off work for nearly one year, then on restricted duty for two years.
I had to learn to eat and swallow again.
My head injury caused memory issues, which I have to this day.
I did not take a duty or medical retirement at the advice of my union. They told me not to worry---the retirement insurance coverage would take care of me. But thats not true anymore.
I do not think I am special, nor do I think I am unique. I am like every other patrol officer in any other city. I worked hard. I earned everything I have. I do not want anyone to give me anything.
I do want what I earned --- my health-care coverage and pension.
Thank you for listening. I hope you do not experience the same treatment.
Hey, pal, spell “Money.”
“M O N E Y”
Nope, you forgot the “F”
You were used by your Union Reps so they could get RICH!
How does that work, exactly?
My previous neighbor was a retired NY cop. He was about 44 years old. He started a second "career" for FedEx. The dude is going to be living off NYers for the next 30 or 40 years.
My other previous neighbor just retired from the city here in Arizona. She's 46. Her husband cut his hours down to part time because she is now making more money retired than she was working. Again, she'll be collecting for the next however meany decades.
My co-worker, from Long Island, her dad retired at 40 from some NYC union, then started another union job for the sewer workers. Did that--retired from both collecting both pensions for FOREVER.
And we laugh at Greece?
He made a big mistake: He believed the leftist government, the leftist union.
He didn’t pay SS, but didn’t put money aside for himself.
I wonder: Is he mad at the leftists who lied to him yet?
And I ‘retired’ at age 40-something with a lavish pension and I WANT MINE!
Local and State government employees are exempt from Social Security and Medicare (Constitutional issue), but they may elect to participate as those government may determine. At one time, the military was also exempt, but that ended in 1957.
As local and perhaps even state governments begin to collapse, they will try to get the federal government to bail them out and will no doubt invent some story that the mean federal government shut them out of Social Security and so they deserve to be rescued. Politicians, of course, will sign up for this fiction.
He should get what us fools get on SS 1400 a month big deal..
Same deal in Kleptofornia. State workers pay into a deferred comp system run by the state. As such, they don’t pay social security, and are not eligible for the same. I have one brother, possibly two on that system. One works for BART, the other the state.
Lookslike there are a few out there who are not supporting this officer. Too bad for them!
If we private citizens want short and long term disability insurance we have to pay for it and it is expensive. I recommend everyone having both because what will you do in his situation if disabled.
That said, these public servants usually are underpaid so adding in disability insurance would be reasonable. That, and I agree most government pensions are too generous.
It’s the same with local employees here in CA (and, I believe, state employees too): they AREN’T TAXED FOR Social Security and Medicare, and thus aren’t eligible for them ... because they have their own retirement plans instead.
I worked for a CA city briefly and strongly preferred this approach. Social Security and Medicare are going bankrupt. Far better to pay into a smaller, privately INVESTED fund for retirement payouts and medical care. (Still less preferable than a free market, but hey.)
He should have looked both ways before proceeding through the green light.
“How does that work, exactly?”
I had a retired cop here in NJ describe it to me; as I recall, he thought that because his taxpayer-funded pension was so far above what most people would collect under Social Security, and because he could retire so young, it was almost viewed as “double dipping” if he could also collect SS. He didn’t mention the healthcare part.
No he won't.
You can't fight math.
Like others here have suggested... I’d like to see his voting record.
I am sorry that politicians made promises that they never intended to fulfill.
I am sorry that the Government promised to loot all of the earnings and possessions of the private citizens to fund the pensions and benefits for Government workers.
I am sorry that Government workers did not object to implementation of benefit programs that would clearly destroy the economy and require virtual theft and impoverishment of private citizens.
I am sorry that we routinely elect liars and thieves.
I am sorry that you did not set aside some of your earnings (not shrunk due to FICA deductions) to fund your own pension (e.g., 401k).
A contract is a contract and should be honored. I pity those that lost their pensions through govt corruption. But it’s not the taxpayers’ problem.
I trust this guy was a good cop, and I regret his injuries. I hope he finds a good path.
While on the subject of injuries, let’s not forget about the troops the come home injured, and especially those that didn’t make it home alive.
Sorry friend, no sympathy here.
You believed a fairy tale.
You voted for the criminal, lying union backed politicians that promised you somethig they could not deliver.
Your actions helped destroy a city
Similar actions are causing the destruction of the country.
Unions are a cancer that need to be cut out of the civic body.
I hope evryone sees you as an example of what NOT to do and how to NOT live a life.
I will pray for you and wish you joy.
But sympathy, never.
“Who amongst we non-police types will cast the first stone against what is legally coming to this ex-officer and his brethren?”
I will; you call it “legal”, but here in NJ these people have bankrupted those they purport to “serve” (and are vindictive as Hell if you question anything in their absurd compensation packages, or whether so many are even needed). I’ve seen parties for cops retiring at 45 (after 25 years on the job - they started before college requirements); how long do you think the average Joe will tolerate that? 99% of the cops in my town have never fired their gun on the job, and 100% have never been fired on - these are not cops in a war zone.
For every public retiree with a sob story you can find 100 foreclosed homes due to the prohibitive burdens these people place on taxpayers. If the municipality you sucked dry can no longer pay what they promised, take them to court; get out of my pockets. This guy never “served” or “protected” me; I owe him nothing.
I feel bad about his injury, but he shouldn't be using it as a prop for financial sympathy.
Your unions broke the bank.
You enjoyed it while the getting was good.
Now suffer the consequences like the rest of us.
I knew a woman whose husband took an early disability retirement from the NYC police force and moved to CA to take a job as a lobbyist for Inidan gambling. Within 3 years, they were very rich.
I feel sorry for the guy; but he needs to place the blame where it belongs. And that blame belongs with his union and the DEMOCRAT governments that have so mismanaged Detroit’s finances and promised more than the productive (i.e., creators of wealth) taxpayers could provide on a sustainable basis.
And if I did a google search I bet I would not find a single instance of this “poor soul” coming to the defense of the NON-UNION members of General Motors and affiliates who got screwed out of their pensions so the UAW union members could be protected. Sorry Mr. Lawrence, there will be many, many more state, local and (ultimately) federal government employees and retirees who will share in the suffering that the non-government workforce has been experiencing for years at the hands of our “progressive” overlords.
Welcome to the club Officer Lawrence, how does it feel?
But the vitriol against unions is stronger, I guess. And yeah, if a wounded vet lost his benefits, they'd be screaming about that, too. FR can be a strange place.
Most of the idiots on this thread think these guys just receive a pension without any contribution from them, not true, they pay a percentage of their check into a retirement fund and some is matched by the city.
If the fund is raided by the city management then the guy at least deserves his contribution.
Its fun to listen to guys who work in a cubicle typing on a computer all and day hating on guys who actually risk their lives daily. funny stuff.
I have to ask if you’d feel the same way about somethign similar happening to a wounded vet. Because, ya know, the federal gov’t ain’t exactly liquid.
Waaaaaaaaaaaa. This retired cop probably voted democrat all his life.
Detroit is what happens to a city run by rats for 50 years. Do what the rest
of us will have to do. Get a part time or full time job.
When the vets have a union extorting their demands get back to me. Otherwise it’s apples to oranges.
Part of the problem is PUBLIC EMPLOYEE UNIONS. The other part are the career politicians who first agree to exorbitant labor contracts in order to buy votes, and then UNDERFUND the pension funds to buy even more votes.
We need 2 things: 1. outlaw public employee unions and 2, pass term limits at every level—local, state and federal.
BOTH THINGS NEED TO BE DONE.
I doubt it. He thinks it’s Bush’s fault.
> I feel bad about his injury, but he shouldn’t be using it as a prop for financial sympathy.
I don’t think he was looking for sympathy; probably just venting out of frustation.
Um, I worked in Detroit for almost 20 years, and I have to agree with this guy, working in Detroit is like working in an occupied war zone. The DPD shrugged off SS and medicare for private pension and healthcare plans. This is just another breach of contract by a business entity (the city of Detroit), and it’s employees.
I find this very disturbing, because I work for a railroad, and the feds under paul ryan have been trying to confiscate the railroad retirement fund (a fund set up and fully funded by railroad employees before SS even existed), and will open the door for European style confiscation of ALL retirement funds. If the feds can violate contract law with impunity, then NONE of your retirement assets are safe.
Alternatively, he could get what our kids and their kids will get on SS... $0 a month.
I support the officer. Assuming his story is true. He was defrauded. He had a contract. They are not holding up their end.
Wow what a story. Where can I send this clown my small violin?
It’s common. Public pensions take the place of social security. They are not like private sector pensions which are in addition to social security.
No, it’s about a govenment, local or federal, being unable to live up to its responsibilities due to contracts to which they have freely committed. Unions or no unions. Your dismissal of my question speaks volumes.
Is it your wish to send federal tax dollars to bail out the corrupt unions
and rat politicians so he can have his pension?
Their pension taxes took the place of the FICA tax.
What happened here is that the government reneged on a legal agreement. Something conservatives are supposed to be against.
You’re the one who is hilarious.
When the money runs out the money runs out.
There’s no tooth fairy to “make it right”...
Live within your means or eventually suffer the consequences.
As far as your business example, yes you should sue your ex-employer if they fail to live up to their obligations. But again - if the money’s gone, the money’s gone. To expect someone else to pick up the tab outside the parties directly involved is dead wrong.
And regarding unions, unions were the primary player in bankrupting his city. So yes, he should go look in the mirror regarding what happened to his pension and health care.
And your solution is?
Jumping the gun a bit aren’t we?
I didn’t realize FR had de-evolved into a den of a-holes. Instead of mocking this guy, we should simply point blame where it is due, Big Government politicians, who made promises they can’t keep. Heck, those former Detroit officials who are responsible should be forced to pay back their wages, and profits from them, into a fund, to help these people out.
Officer, you sound like a good man. I’m sorry you were naive enough to believe anything any government ever told you. ALL Government is, in part, based on lies and deception. I’m sorry they got you but, they did.