BRAVEST, FINEST GET REA$ON TO STAY

By KENNETH LOVETT


August 9, 2002 -- ALBANY - Gov. Pataki yesterday signed into law a bill designed to offer veteran New York City cops and firefighters incentives to stay on the job.

"A lot will go because it's been a horrible year for them, but this should stem at least some of the retirements," said Barbara O'Neill, aide to Assembly bill sponsor Peter Abbate Jr. (D-Brooklyn).

The law allows cops and firefighters to begin incurring certain supplemental retirement benefits upon hitting 20 years of service, whether they retire or not.

Under the old law, the benefit - which is given above the regular pension - kicked in only after a cop or firefighter with at least 20 years of service retired.

Sponsors said the bill, which was supported by Mayor Bloomberg and the police and fire unions, was needed because the NYPD and FDNY are facing a wave of retirements, particularly in the ranks of superior officers.



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