Details vs. flagmen

A reader sent me a link to this Boston Herald story about police details in Boston and the state’s view on the use of flagmen with this question: is the town able to use flagmen?

I don’t have the answer to that question. I can tell you, however, that according to the 2007 annual town report, outside detail paid through the town’s revolving account totaled $327,498.84, with the top earner taking in over $36,000 (he doesn’t appear to be listed as a town police officer, however — maybe a Statie?). Please note that outside detail means just that — it’s not a town expense, it’s money paid through the town.


5 thoughts on “Details vs. flagmen

  1. I did a little research. If the town, say the DPW wanted to use flaggers on a project, the town could opt to use flaggers. However the private flagger would be paid between $31 and $37.50 an hour depending what zone we are in. (not sure on the zone) This is the state’s prevailing wage law. Now the company providing the flagger has expenses and needs to make a profit so it will bill somewhere near $50 an hour if not more. Grafton Police Officers make approximately $29 an hour for town funded projects.

    Now, I dug out my town report and the officer that made just over $36,000 in private details is a part time/ special officer.

    Also in the town report, the town made more than $30,000 in detail admin fees.

  2. The flagman issue is almost as absurd as the prevailing wage law itself. Does the Town enforce the prevailing wage law in every other aspect of work done in the Town of Grafton. According to the prevailing wage law, lawn mowing is set at $43 an hour, which seems outrageous to me. I wonder how much “unions” contributed to the politicians who came up with that law?

    Now that the log jam has been broken on details maybe we can address the Prevailing Wage Boondoggle (law) which creates an overly inflated artificial wage zone for workers of every trade, even unskilled jobs such as flagmen. Certainly raising and lowering a flag or “STOP” sign does not qualify you to make $37/hr. Indeed some states have replaced the flagmen with a flagman dummy with great results. How much would french fries cost if Burger King were required to follow such silly anti-business rules like this?

  3. If I got my stats right here…

    1. Waving flags on the road for traffic: $37 /hr
    2. Cutting grass on our town lawns: $43 / hr
    3. Teaching our children: $42.85 /hr

  4. More stats…

    ~180,000 people currently unemployed in MA.
    US unemployment currently at 6.5% and RISING!!!
    Town of Grafton Budget deficit … priceless

    PS. I would rather employ 3 people for $12/hour than 1 flagman at $37/hour.

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