Although Nassau County is the fourth richest in the U.S., it has a $200 million deficit and long-term debt close to $3 billion. Newsday reporters set out to determine the role of the police department in the spending frenzy. "Police spending increased 64 percent in the last 10 years, twice as fast as county spending overall, largely because of generous salaries and benefits. Police make up 29 percent of the county workforce, but account for 50 percent of its total payroll. Nassau police are among the highest-paid in the nation, ranging from $90,000 to $132,000 annually, and they enjoy an extraordinary number of perks.