Putting a Price on Safety

How much is your safety and the safety of your family worth?

According to Neil Rubenstein’s two columns earlier this month, if you live in Culver City, you’re paying too darn much. Citing gross pay plus value of benefits for 27 mostly firefighters and police officers, by name no less, he complains that the life-threatening risks they take on our behalf are not worth the cost.

The salary figures Rubenstein cites are comparable to those for the corresponding job titles for fire and police positions in Santa Monica, our neighbor to the west, where violent crime and arson statistics exceed those in Culver City.

Moreover, the spread sheet he presents to “prove” how over-taxed we are, is decontextualized, omitting years of service, pension deductions, overtime salary, special event salary, and other variables affecting annual compensation.

In early August, the Observer rightly praised the Culver City firefighters who rushed to Northern California to join the battle against the raging wildfires.

Culver City is a safe city, in large part because of the brave firefighters and police who protect us. However, Mr. Rubenstein would have you believe that they are not worth the tax dollars that fund them.

The next time the CCFD responds to a fire or health emergency on your block, or the CCPD responds to a crime there, and likely saves your property or even your life, be sure to thank them for the risks they take and the sacrifices they and their families make.

And, know that your tax dollars are VERY well spent!

Bruce Lebedoff Anders

Culver City


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