Police dominate 2019 town top earners list
FAIRFIELD — Fairfield police officers made up the entire list of the top 10 earners of town employees in 2019.
K9 Officer Kevin Wells was first on the list, with a gross income of $267,651, though $77,381 of that came from outside jobs where contractors pay officers for police services.
Lt. Keith Broderick, the Fairfield Police Department union president, said assignment to outside services is determined by a rotating list; officers will typically get assigned to a contracting job once every six or seven weeks.
“The town actually makes money on the outside jobs,” Broderick said. “The outside job fund is over-funded.”
Second on the list was Police Sgt. Jeremy Zdru, who brought home $267,266. Outside jobs made up $72,532 his gross pay.
Broderick said training is a big factor on officers’ compensation, including training in firearms, medical response and active shooter situations. Training is mandated by the state and the cost is significant.
“These are all things to keep people proficient,” he said. “If someone is off-duty (when the training occurs), we have to pay them overtime.”
Depending on the shift — say a Monday through Friday day shifts — the department has to hire someone to take their spot while they’re in training, he said.
2019 Top Earners
(amount in parenthesis is outside pay)
1. K9 Officer Kevin Wells
2. Police Sgt. Jeremy Zdru
3. Police Lt. Jeffrey Bloch
4. Police Cpt. Christopher Tursi
5. Police Officer Donald Matejek
6. Police Sgt. Christopher Mastronardi
7. Police Officer Keith Perham
8. Police Lt. Keith Broderick
9. Police Sgt. Michael Paris
10. Detective Sgt. Mathew Reindeau
The lieutenant said one reason the numbers are particularly high compared with other years is because the officers were eligible for back pay because the union was working with an expired contract from July of 2017 to January of 2019.
“So, there’s going to be retro-pay for almost all officers,” Broderick said, adding that they were compensated a 2 percent raise for a year of that and another 2 percent raise for sixth months of it. “Back pay on your overtime and your straight time. So, some guys got $10,000, $15,000 sometimes $20,000.”
Number 10 on the list was Detective Sgt. Mathew Reindeau with $210,984, $19,354 in outside jobs.
Broderick said many officers are working many hours on top of their regular shift.
“If one of our guys, or say anybody in the world, had two jobs,” Broderick said. “Say they worked eight hours a day in their office job, and then they worked (another job on top of that)... they’re labeled a hard worker. But, since ours is in one number, it really gets frowned upon. I don’t think it should be.”
Notably not on the list is Superintendent of Schools Mike Cummings, who serves in a role that has made the list in years past. According to Fairfield Public Schools, Cummings salary for 2019 was $202,373, and his total compensation was $203,506, putting him number 15 on the list.