Federal Pay:

U.S. Park Police Compensation Compared With That of Other Police Units

GGD-89-92: Published: Sep 25, 1989. Publicly Released: Oct 4, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the U.S. Park Police and 11 other federal and nonfederal police units in the Washington, D.C., area, focusing on: (1) how Park Police pay and benefits compared with the other police units; and (2) possible Park Police personnel recruiting and retention problems.

GAO found that: (1) six of the eight police units paid starting annual salaries from $175 to $2,590 above the Park Police's starting salary; (2) Park Police officers were covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System, which allowed them to retire earlier and receive larger annuities than other federal police; (3) two of the seven nonfederal police units had retirement eligibility rules that allowed officers to retire with fewer years of service than the Park Police and three nonfederal units had greater retirement annuities for officers with 25 years of service than the Park Police; (4) two of the seven nonfederal police units contributed more toward health insurance for individual enrollments and four of the nonfederal units contributed more toward family enrollment plans; (5) workers' compensation coverage for Park Police officers and other federal police was comparable to, or better than, the coverage provided for five of the nonfederal police units; (6) the Park Police did not seem to have recruiting or retention problems, since it did not have a large number of vacancies or a high officer turnover rate; (7) the Park Police vacancy rate for 1988 was 4.3 percent, while the vacancy rate for the other 11 police units averaged 5.3 percent; and (8) all of the police units said their recruiting efforts consisted of various combinations of newspaper and radio advertisements, job fair participation, and college campus and military installation visits.

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