SAN ANGELO, TX — In a recent Meet & Confer session, the San Angelo Police Officers’ Coalition (SAPOC) and City Hall successfully concluded negotiations regarding pay and benefits for the city's police officers. This year's discussions have led to a notable increase in police salaries.
For the fiscal year 2023, the City has committed an additional $1.2 million towards police officer salaries. This increase is made possible thanks to a surplus in the general fund, which will be used to finance the raises.
In previous years, negotiations were stalled due to disagreements over the timeline needed to implement a $2.4 million salary package for police officers. While SAPOC aimed for a quicker implementation, City staff proposed spreading the increases over five years.
This week's negotiations saw direct involvement from City Manager Daniel Valenzuela. Acknowledging the competitive salary increases in other Texas cities and the risk of losing trained officers, Valenzuela recognized the need for more immediate action to enhance San Angelo’s police salary structure. He facilitated several informal discussions to find a mutually agreeable solution.
The agreed-upon $1.2 million increment is less than the initial proposal but significant in that it will be implemented immediately, targeting select positions within the police department.
Importantly, the funding for this salary increase comes from the existing excess fund balance, meaning there will be no immediate tax increase for San Angelo residents. However, in the coming years, the city will need to identify sustainable funding sources for the additional $1.2 million in annual payroll expenses. This challenge will have to be met within the constraints of the 3.5 percent annual revenue increase cap set by the Texas legislature, potentially involving revenue from less predictable sources like sales tax.
The proposal, pending final approval from the City Council, represents a crucial step in maintaining a competitive and skilled police force in San Angelo.