After Eight Years, Durham Cops and Firefighters Finally Get a Raise | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

After Eight Years, Durham Cops and Firefighters Finally Get a Raise

Posted by on Tue, Feb 7, 2017 at 7:48 AM

Durham Police Department logo
  • Durham Police Department logo
Durham’s boys in blue are about to get some more green.

The Durham City Council on Monday night approved a pay increase for Durham officers and firefighters boost recruitment and retention. It’s the first pay adjustment in eight years for the city’s first responders.

The change shifts the city’s salary schedule to be more competitive with other cities. Police recruits will see their pay rise from $33,000 to $37,029 and fire recruits from $33,000 to $34,388. With 482 police officers and 298 firefighters, the increase will cost the city about $3.6 million annually.

The city began looking at raising police and firefighter pay this summer and hired consulting firm Segal Waters to study “the City’s sworn salary structures for market competitiveness and internal equity.” In reviewing pay in eleven towns in North Carolina and Virginia, the firm found that Durham’s salaries were below the market average and lower than some nearby jurisdictions that have lured some Durham first responders.

According to the city, police turnover during the last year was at about 10 percent, and last month, Chief CJ Davis said there were about sixty vacancies in her department. Raleigh offers police recruits about $34,000, while Cary and Charlotte offer closer to $40,000.

Turnover at the fire department has been low since the last pay increase.

“One cost of turnover is the loss of training investments made in personnel who then leave to work for competing cities,” a memo outlining the plan says. It costs the city about $55,000 to train a police officer and about $53,000 for a firefighter.

Each year, first responders will be eligible for a 5 percent merit-based raise, up from 3 percent. The city’s 2016–17 budget funded twenty new officer positions.

The new pay structures also adds the ranks of senior patrol officer and senior firefighter “to recognize the execution of higher level duties such as providing training assistance and guiding new employees.”

Mark Simmons, founding member of police reform group Ceasefire Durham, says the old pay rates weren’t enough to hire and keep the quality officers Durham needs to improve public safety and police-community relations.

“These officers earn about thirty-three thousand dollars,” he says. “You can’t live on that.”

The change takes effect retroactively starting January 21.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

@ Hunter23 "A combination of investors and loans" is not specific, and nowhere in the article is the phrase "private …

by RJO_III on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

The article clearly states the building would be privately funded with the state/local gov pitching in for infrastructure enhancement. The …

by Hunter23 on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

Most Recent Comments

@ Hunter23 "A combination of investors and loans" is not specific, and nowhere in the article is the phrase "private …

by RJO_III on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

The article clearly states the building would be privately funded with the state/local gov pitching in for infrastructure enhancement. The …

by Hunter23 on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

I truly admire the passion and support the message. But it seems standing on an overpass during rush hour traffic …

by Diane Alenezi on High Above I-40, Protesters Call for "Health Care 4 All" (News)

This will turn the Mordecai neighborhood & surrounding neighborhoods (one of the only places in downtown Raleigh with any character …

by RJO_III on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

Oh Leanne, don't you know the GA laid them all off? And that people always crap on their own public …

by biIIy on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation