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Old 08-19-2008, 12:35 AM
 
65 posts, read 251,129 times
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Is a police officer upper, middle, or lower class, and blue collar or white collar?

I had a conversation at another forum regarding this topic. That other forum is dominated by law enforcement officers, so I wanted to get the general public's opinion on this matter.

Before I go on, I would like to say that in many California cities, police officers start at 60-70k per year + overtime (+ shift differential, education incentives, certification incentives, longevity pay, special unit/hazard pay, bilingual pay, and uniform allowance), fully subsidized medical/dental/vision, and can retire with 60% pension in 20 years or 90% pension in 30 years based on their highest 12-month base salary (and the pension come with cost of living increases). As police officers climb the career ladder, the income potential rises to 150k-250k (deputy chief pay which varies greatly depending on the size of the department).

Virtually everyone agreed that police officers are considered blue collar, at the rank-and-file level at least, as patrol officers work the streets, use their hands, work shifts, work outside regardless of the weather, work at all times of day, etc.

That being said, there was disagreement as to what "class" the officers occupy (and also what defines "class"). At minimum, the officers were considered to be middle class.

Do you think the prestige of the position elevates it to upper middle class, especially when considering the compensation plan? What about the first-line supervisors (sergeants), the middle managers (lieutenants and captains), and the upper managers (deputy chiefs)?

In general, do you classify police officers as upper, middle, or lower class? As blue collar or white collar?

Also, how do you compare the prestige and status of police officers with other occupations such as retail managers, financial analysts, lawyers, and management consultants?

 
Old 08-19-2008, 06:37 AM
 
434 posts, read 2,910,962 times
Reputation: 333
I used to live in a neighborhood that seemed to attract police officers, so I am going to say that police officers are more middle class. My old neighborhood was full of teachers, retail managers, various civil servants, small business owners and the like. So I would classify police officers as "middle" middle class.

As far as white collar/blue collar I've never really thought much about it, but I would lean towards blue collar. But I would classify police officers much like I would classify many of my blue collar friends who are supervisors or management. Yes they are blue collar, but there almost needs to be a different designation like "professional" blue collar. It is blue collar work that requires a lot of training and the use of your brain as much as the use of your brawn.

On the issue of prestige, again something that I really have never thought about. But I think of police officers, fire fighters, teachers and other civil servants as having the same amount of prestige. Police officers and fire fighters have much more respect due to the danger involved in doing their job.

About the only thing that I could think of that puts a negative light on police officers is that I have talked to a few people that comment that they can't believe that someone that they knew in high school or college became a police officer, especially due to the way that these people acted in their younger years. My brother is now a deputy sheriff and everyone in my family growing up was convinced that my brother would be on the other side of the law. So it was kind of a shock that my brother decided to become a sheriff.
 
Old 08-19-2008, 06:55 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,238 posts, read 18,740,582 times
Reputation: 10164
A well paid copper might be considered middle class economically but working class socially. On the other hand during labor disputes cops will shoot down and beat fellow working class people when ordered so if they're working class they're the renegades of it.

As far as prestige, not much. Too many cops are bullys and thieves to give the trade much prestige. And what's with all the Freddie Mercury mustaches, hmmm?
 
Old 08-19-2008, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Memphis
948 posts, read 3,413,724 times
Reputation: 523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Police View Post
Is a police officer upper, middle, or lower class, and blue collar or white collar?

I had a conversation at another forum regarding this topic. That other forum is dominated by law enforcement officers, so I wanted to get the general public's opinion on this matter.

Before I go on, I would like to say that in many California cities, police officers start at 60-70k per year + overtime (+ shift differential, education incentives, certification incentives, longevity pay, special unit/hazard pay, bilingual pay, and uniform allowance), fully subsidized medical/dental/vision, and can retire with 60% pension in 20 years or 90% pension in 30 years based on their highest 12-month base salary (and the pension come with cost of living increases). As police officers climb the career ladder, the income potential rises to 150k-250k (deputy chief pay which varies greatly depending on the size of the department).

Virtually everyone agreed that police officers are considered blue collar, at the rank-and-file level at least, as patrol officers work the streets, use their hands, work shifts, work outside regardless of the weather, work at all times of day, etc.

That being said, there was disagreement as to what "class" the officers occupy (and also what defines "class"). At minimum, the officers were considered to be middle class.

Do you think the prestige of the position elevates it to upper middle class, especially when considering the compensation plan? What about the first-line supervisors (sergeants), the middle managers (lieutenants and captains), and the upper managers (deputy chiefs)?

In general, do you classify police officers as upper, middle, or lower class? As blue collar or white collar?

Also, how do you compare the prestige and status of police officers with other occupations such as retail managers, financial analysts, lawyers, and management consultants?



Blue collar middle class
 
Old 08-19-2008, 12:49 PM
 
8,270 posts, read 26,321,403 times
Reputation: 4407
Blue Collar Socially
Middle Class financially
 
Old 08-19-2008, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Kentucky/ Displaced Texan
3,106 posts, read 2,670,054 times
Reputation: 1024
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
A well paid copper might be considered middle class economically but working class socially. On the other hand during labor disputes cops will shoot down and beat fellow working class people when ordered so if they're working class they're the renegades of it.

As far as prestige, not much. Too many cops are bullys and thieves to give the trade much prestige. And what's with all the Freddie Mercury mustaches, hmmm?

wow got anymore stereotypes?

How about the cops, we have some Lexington PD cops in my guard unit who served in Iraq? So your saying what about those who fought for your freedom? Im just trying to be clear here.
 
Old 08-19-2008, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,191 posts, read 28,102,251 times
Reputation: 7114
Growing up with a father who was a police officer I can tell you we were solidly lower middle class. We struggled for everything, but managed to own a home in a safe area. Never bought a new car or new furniture or even very many new clothes, but had hot food on the table for dinner every night.
 
Old 08-19-2008, 03:01 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
10,238 posts, read 18,740,582 times
Reputation: 10164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Packersnut21 View Post
wow got anymore stereotypes?

How about the cops, we have some Lexington PD cops in my guard unit who served in Iraq? So your saying what about those who fought for your freedom? Im just trying to be clear here.

The only cops who fought for my freedom did so in WW II and are long retired. I think the world of them, even officer McGuiness to whom I paid a sawbuck to get out of running a red light. McGuiness had so much loot he couldn't hide it all in Chicago and bought apartment buildings in Philadelphia.

I knew lots of cops, most were good guys but some were thieves. Some were thieves and good guys. Some were bullies and bad guys.

As for your pals I said too many cops are bullies and thieves. Are your pals bullies and thieves? You tell me.
 
Old 08-19-2008, 05:15 PM
 
3,735 posts, read 3,931,451 times
Reputation: 4255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Police View Post
Is a police officer upper, middle, or lower class, and blue collar or white collar?
blue collar, lower middle class.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Police View Post
in many California cities, police officers start at 60-70k per year + overtime ...the income potential rises to 150k-250k

Do you think the prestige of the position elevates it to upper middle class, especially when considering the compensation plan? What about the first-line supervisors (sergeants), the middle managers (lieutenants and captains), and the upper managers (deputy chiefs)?
Class has nothing to do with income and little to do with occupation, e.g., think of successful financiers/doctors/judges who drop out of the rat race to become carpenters OR, well-paid rappers or rock stars.

Class has to do with values, tastes, style, behavior, and to a lesser extent, education. While education is certainly an indicator of class and opens the doors to most middle and upper class occupations, it is not the most important indicator of class. There are many well-educated people whose lifestyles, beliefs, and interests place them in a lower social class.
 
Old 08-19-2008, 06:36 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,880,155 times
Reputation: 18049
I'd say blue collar work wise and more white collar comapred to many white collar workers in many towns. In fact they seem to be invited to serve many public boards etc than the normal white middle class worker.
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