After being among lowest paid officers in country, Highland Park police get raise

Officials say pay increase will make city safer

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. – Prior to this year, the last time Highland Park police received a raise was a decade ago.

That increased their pay to $15 an hour. The officers were among some of the lowest paid police in the country, but they now make $20 an hour and more pay raises will come in the future.

The department has managed to decrease crime while struggling to maintain a force with such low wages, but the police chief and mayor say the changes this year will help make the city safer.

"[There's been] almost a 33 percent decrease in violent crime and nearly a 60 percent [decrease] in property crime," Deputy Chief James Tolbert said.

Highland Park officers work part-time. The force has 25 sworn officers, just over a dozen high-ranking officers and nearly 50 reserve officers.

Chief Chester Logan said a budget surplus over the past few years allowed for the pay hike.

Additionally, all officers now have tasers and body cameras, and the department has rolled out a tool that allows residents to make reports to police online.

"This is a professional department led by the best and you've got to be the best. Citizens of this city deserve the best," Logan said.

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