The News editorial, "Lack of perspective," was exactly right. However, it should apply to The News, not the managers of the Buffalo Police Department. Let's try to put the proper perspective on this issue, which The News failed to do. The issue is our pension, not $5,000 in our pockets.
The better part of my career was spent working two or three jobs to make a decent living for my family. During the '70s and '80s, the pay for a Buffalo police officer was one of the lowest in the county. Nonetheless, I loved my job with the Buffalo Police Department. Sure it was dangerous, the hours were maddening and the pay was minimal. However, I had the security of civil service, good medical benefits and a nice pension to look forward to when I retired. It is this retirement pension, a pension that we earned and deserve, that is the focal point of us suing to receive the $5,000.
We are not money-grabbers as The News would like people to believe. We are dedicated professionals at the end of our careers, who are looking to be treated fairly in terms of our retirement pension. The $5,000 in-hand money is not the issue. We would all gladly return the $5,000 to the city if the money could be credited to our final numbers used to calculate our pension. A pension by the way, that is paid by New York State, not the City of Buffalo.
Finally, I am sure, as The News stated, that many people would love to receive my pension benefits. Go earn it, like I did -- 36 years in an urban war, protecting the citizens of this fine city.
Retired Chief of Patrol
Buffalo Police Department