DETROIT – The Detroit Police Department is trying to fill 300 vacancies while keeping the officers they do have, and they plan to do it by increasing pay. Mayor Mike Duggan, Detroit police Chief James White, and union leaders made the announcement Friday morning.
Rumors about pay bumps had leaked within the department before the announcement, and White says because of that, they are already getting feedback.
“Already, as of yesterday, I had five officers hand walk to my office a request to return to the police department,” said White. “That’s the impact; five officers from suburban agencies.”
It says a lot given that the Detroit Police Department lost 72 officers in August and September alone, and two-thirds of those went to other police departments.
If union members ratify the contract, starting pay for Detroit police officers will go from $43,000 to $53,000. For officers with more than four years of experience, pay will go from around $60,000 to $73,000. Officers would get a 4% yearly increase for the next four years.
The agreement with the lieutenants and sergeants union would raise the pay of detectives by $11,000, sergeants by an average of $10,000, and lieutenants by an average of $11,000.
Duggan says the money is coming from the city’s income tax revenue after having a revenue estimating conference in February and again in September.
“I was extremely pleased when we got the notice in September that we had $35 million to $45 million more than we expected as far as I was concerned the number one priority was public safety,” Duggan said.
White said he knows the change in pay will make a difference.
“You can’t have the number of officers that we’re going to hire without having a robust training program, and there’s money here to pay our trainers separate and apart from patrol, something we didn’t have in the past,” White said.
Mark Young, president of DPOA, said, “All we want is this to be a better place for people to live, work, play, and to socialize. I’m already receiving calls from people trying to come back to our department, which is a good sign.”
To move forward, unions must approve the agreement within a week. Duggan says they will also need to submit a budget amendment for $25 million for the contract to go into effect.
Click here to watch the full announcement.