From a piece on the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, in Bloomberg Businessweek:
In the well-to-do New York City suburb of Closter, N.J., which has a below-average crime rate, all but two of the 20 members of the police force are earning more than $100,000 this year, not including benefits or overtime. To blame: Arbitration rules that are tipped in unions' favor.
I'm with the article on the general point that these police are probably overpaid, but there's an unstated underlying assumption there — that police in low-crime areas should get paid less than police in high-crime areas — that is questionable, or at least debatable. Since the job of police is to reduce crime, if you believe that crime levels are at least somewhat responsive to police performance, there's at least a case to be made that police in low crime areas should make more money than police in high crime areas. It's pay for performance. If one were serious about this one would perhaps link the pay to reductions in crime rather than to the absolute level, because the absolute level may be related to some factor beyond the police's control.