The Port Authority has hired at least 11 retired cops — most from the NYPD or New Jersey — who “double dip” by collecting hefty police pensions while earning big bucks in their new posts, The Post has learned.

Most left their police jobs with pensions worth more than $80,000 a year. With their new salaries of at least $150,000, their total take is nearly a quarter of a million dollars annually.

And the PA not only pays well, it provides perks, including a “take-home” PA car and a free E-ZPass.

Of the double dippers, nine are retired NYPD or New Jersey state cops. The former city cops also get a $12,000-a-year “variable supplement” bonus each December.

The other retirees include a Newark police captain and a Mount Vernon police commissioner.

The PA said it had to make the new hires to fill its depleted ranks and claimed it was conducting a nationwide search for the best candidates.

It found all of them right next door.

The agency would not say how many had applied for the new jobs — a source said the number was more than 600 — or if anyone outside the local area was considered.

The PA has a history of taking care of double dippers. In fact, its three top police officials, hired previously, set the standard:

•  Michael Fedorko, the agency’s superintendent, earns more than $320,000 a year counting his pensions from the New Jersey state police and the state’s Casino Control Commission.

•  Joseph Dunne, the PA’s chief security officer, earns about $327,000 a year from his NYPD pension and PA salary.

•  Thomas Belfiore, the agency’s first deputy chief security officer, earns about $275,000 a year from his NYPD pension and PA salary.

The PA said it was forced to hire the new, highly paid officers after its lieutenants refused to accept promotions because they would have had to give up union protection and overtime pay.

Critics of the agency are upset about more than money.

Many expressed disappointment that, with one exception, the new hires are all white men — fueling accusations that the PA is an insular “old boys’ network” lacking diversity and rife with cronyism.

No women were hired.

“The fact that the system allows people to retire from a job, turn around, and immediately go back out and get another very similar job certainly doesn’t make a lot of sense,” said Tim Hoefer, director of the Empire Center, a conservative think tank.

PA spokesman Christopher Valens said the agency hired “highly qualified police executives from large departments, including several with extensive experience in protecting transportation facilities, following an open and rigorous nationwide recruitment.”

A state law bars double dipping, except for retirees who get waivers or go to work for “public benefit corporations,” like the PA.

New Jersey has no such ban, but a state senator has introduced a bill to regulate it.

© 2014 New York Post

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