Pay boost badly needed to attract and retain police officers
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS REPORT – By LINDA BRODEN
When Mayor Duggan was campaigning for mayor of this great city, if I can recall, he stated that the Detroit Police Officer’s starting pay should be at least $60,000. Well, Mayor Duggan and Chief Craig, we are still waiting. Our salary has not made any improvements in the last several years. We Detroit Police Officers have always worked harder than our surrounding counterparts for so long, for far less pay.
Detroit Police salaries are the lowest of any major cities, with all the take away and increased health insurance, driving our members from the force to better pay and health care. Last year more than half of our members did not have to pay a premium in health care. This year we all have to pay. So that 4 percent raise we recently received must now be utilized in premium costs and co-pays.
The average starting salary in the surrounding suburban departments starts at least at $43,000. They seldom have to run between houses or have to chase after “ray, ray.” The continued decrease in pay and benefits is driving our members away, out of state and to other suburban departments. Our members have been recruited to agencies as far away as Hawaii, Seattle (four from TRU), Denver and Houston. These agencies that are recruiting Detroit’s Finest are getting qualified candidates. We are losing good officers. Recruiting can’t get people in the door fast enough to fill the slots.
During the quarterly period of 2016 the following members have separated from this department – January 2016: 44 members, April 2016: 58, July 2016: 41 and in October 2016: 45.
These officers that are leaving for higher pay are not able to make ends meet on this salary. Most of us that remain have to work at least two jobs to better provide for our families. Most of our members, their second job is the overtime they are sometime forced to work, and some are happy to work it, but others are exhausted.
Just recently the secretary of state imposed a big 20 percent increase in our vehicle registration and the governor a 9 percent tax hike on gas. Plenty of money is being expanded in this City; in a few months there will be lots and lots of foot traffic all around this place. Yes, Detroit is looking great. We will need more and more officers to assist with this greatness.
While Detroit is being made into a first-class city, our members are making second-class peanuts in wages. All we are asking for is at least a measly 15 percent wage hike for our men and women in blue who put their lives on the line each and every day. That will measure up to the 10 PERCENT we lost and the 5 PERCENT that the city is still holding onto from 2012. That is a lot of interest.
The 15 percent increase will almost put us in comparison with a five year officer from Southfield, approximate wage of $62,000, Sterling Heights: $75,500, Warren: $64,000 and Farmington Hills (this is where three of our members just ventured to): $71,400. So, Mayor Mike Duggan and Chief of Police James E. Craig, Detroit’s Finest are waiting. Open the books.
ARTICLE 21: FURLOUGH SELECTION AND CANCELLATION
The drawing for Summer Furlough is Wednesday, Feb. 15. You may elect to sell up to one (1) week of furlough time, five (5) consecutive days per furlough period. The selling of your furlough time shall be at the time of the Furlough draw. If you are sick or disabled IMMEDIATELY prior to your furlough and if you provide medical proof of such illness or disability, the furlough shall be rescheduled to a date that is mutually acceptable to you and the commanding officer.
ON DUTY INJURIES, WHAT INFO IS PROVIDED TO WHOM
If you incurred a duty related injury and you or your partner are conveyed to one of the approved Occupational Health Care Facilities for treatment of the injury or illness, please do not give your home address or your insurance information to the medical facility. If you give them your personal information you may be responsible for that bill. If you get a medical bill that you believe is the City’s responsibility, immediately contact Police Medical and the Association. If you ignore that bill it will end up in collection or garnishment of your wages.
When you are transported to a medical facility either by your partner or EMS, only submit to the admission personnel your name and address where you work with the responsible party being:
CITY OF DETROIT
DETROIT PUBLIC SAFETY
1301 3RD ST., 6TH FLOOR
DETROIT, MI 48226
PHONE: (313) 237-3100
HOPE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU HAS A HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.
QUOTE OF THE QUARTER: “Nobody gets to live life backward, look ahead, that is where your future lies.”
— Ann Landers