BY Samuel Braslow May 26, 2022
The Beverly Hills City Council unanimously passed a 14% base salary increase over the next three years for the city’s police department at a May 24 meeting, making city officers highest paid in Southern California.
The city negotiated the increase under a new memorandum of understanding with the two unions that represent the Beverly Hills Police Department’s (BHPD) rank and file officers. Existing contracts were due to expire on April 7, 2023. Most recently, officers saw their salaries increase by 2% in October 2021.
While City Manager George Chavez has been credited for his role in negotiating the new contracts, Chavez said Mayor Lili Bosse first raised the issue of police salaries in December amid renewed concerns over the hike. of crime. Bosse said she pushed the case after discovering the city’s police force ranked third in the region for base pay.
“I thank our police officers, men and women, who have worked so incredibly hard for our community over the past few years, especially when there were so many obstacles placed in their way,” Bosse said. “I hope they felt appreciated and embraced by this community and appreciated and embraced by this Council.”
sergeant. David Leber, vice-president of the Association of Police Officers, said it was “frankly unheard of for a city council to enter into contract negotiations with one year left on a contract”.
“This is truly a testament to the commitment of City Manager Chavez, the Mayor, Council and Chief Stainbrook to public safety in Beverly Hills. This contract will allow us to compete for the best people to fill officer positions. and meet the policing expectations of that community,” Leber said. “We won’t let you down.
Captain Max Subin spoke on behalf of the Police Management Association, which represents police captains and lieutenants.
“Our association fully supports the proposed memorandum of understanding and would like to publicly thank the city council for their continued support of the police department and police employees,” Subin said. “The partnership we have with the council and community of Beverly Hills is unparalleled.”
The wage hike would result in an additional $4.5 million in cost to the city, according to a tax analysis conducted by an outside firm. The total cost of the two contracts over the next three years is $11.2 million.
Under the previous contract, salaries currently ranged between $94,000 and $150,000 for Beverly Hills Police Department officers and sergeants, placing Beverly Hills third out of 14 in Southern California for base salaries in the police. Orange County and Santa Monica won first and second place respectively.
In terms of overall compensation, which includes benefits and overtime, the city ranked first in the region even before the increase. “But with this move,” said board member Robert Wunderlich, “we will be unambiguously the highest paid police force in Southern California.”
Chief Mark Stainbrook also noted that the increase would correct a pay disparity between police and firefighters, who earned about 10% more than police officers — an uncommon arrangement, according to Stainbrook.
“Generally they’re either close to the same or police earn more in most cities,” Stainbrook said.
The new contract also provides new flexibility to staff certain positions with civilians that were previously filled by sworn officers.
The Council pointed to the difficulty of recruiting new officers to justify the increase.
“Recruiting is going to be very competitive in LA County, clearly, and we need to provide every incentive possible to have the best of the best,” Bosse said.
“It should send a message to our community that we do more than talk about public safety. This council has done everything humanly possible to support this community and create and enhance public safety,” said Vice Mayor Julian Gold. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s like the icing on the cake. I don’t know if there is anything else we can do.