Council Approves Police Pay Raise
The San Angelo Coalition of Police’s (SACOP) signed pay raise proposal went before City Council for ratification Tuesday, after nearly a year of negotiation between both entities.
Human Resources Director Lisa Marley presented the proposal to council in a brief presentation, outlining the pay raise schedule as bringing police officers up to 88.5 percent of the average salaries of comparable cities in year one, increasing to 91.75 percent in year two and reaching 95 percent in year three.
In addition, a 2.5 percent contingency is built in to the proposal, as the rates are based on this year’s salaries in 13 comparable police departments in cities such as Abilene, Midland and Brownwood. Should the average of the salaries in those cities increase over the three-year term of the contract, the San Angelo Police Department will be able to add up to 2.5 percent to account for those increases.
Following her presentation, councilwoman Charlotte Farmer spoke out in disagreement with the proposal, stating “To men, I find this a little bit the cart before the horse.”
Farmer said she wasn’t opposed to the police receiving pay raises, however would like to see what the rest of the budget proposals were before signing off on an agreement for one entity.
Councilman Rodney Fleming, who has been a vocal and staunch supporter of the police and their pay raise for several months now, responded to Farmer. “I’m kind of the opposite,” said. “We need to figure it out.”
The meet and confer team has been working on reaching an agreement for the better part of a year now, and after intensive negotiation, both SACOP and the city reached an agreement at their last meeting.
That agreement was passed 126 to 4 by members of the police department, SACOP President Korby Kennedy announced.
“When we started this process, we wanted to lessen the burden on the department,” Kennedy said, referencing the department’s retention issues. Kennedy underscored the importance of remaining competitive and offering officers a suitable pay in order to keep them in the San Angelo Police Department.
After brief discussion, council passed the proposal 6-0.
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