‘Longtime Raleigh Cops Reject Salary Proposal :: WRAL.com

– Every law enforcement agency in Wake County has a higher starting salary than the Raleigh Police Department. A proposal before City Council would raise salaries across the board, but some members of the police union say it doesn’t go far enough and have taken to social media to make their point.

“We want the new people. We want the rookies – we’ll give them big raises. But you’ve been here 5, 10, 15 years, we don’t care about you that much,” the Raleigh spokesman said. Police Protective Association. Rick Armstrong.

When the City Council meets next week, they will be greeted by protesters just outside the Raleigh City Building who say the proposal does not do enough to reward veteran police and firefighters.

“It was really a slap in the face to give these veteran officers half of what they give new recruits,” Armstrong said.

While most city leaders agree that Raleigh needs to pay its entry-level agents more to compete with other agencies. The city council is seeking to fill the police department’s 168 vacancies, or about 20% of the total workforce, by raising the minimum wage in every category, with the biggest jump for new officers.

“This is a serious concern. I’ve had literally dozens of text messages and phone calls over the past day about a simple scandal,” Armstrong said. “A lot of officers just want to go somewhere else. They’re so frustrated.”

A member of RPPA posted a meme on Instagram using the infamous moment Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars. In the meme, Raleigh represents Smith while the veteran officers are represented as Rock.

“At the end of the day, other departments pay more … and it’s probably safer to work in some of these smaller towns, and the cost of living is much lower,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong said he agreed a salary increase for entry-level officers from $42,000 to $50,000 made sense. But he says that for it to be fair, veteran officers must also get substantial pay raises.

“We know policing is hard work, especially over the past two years,” Armstrong said.

“[RPD] did a good job recruiting more officers, but guess what? They’re all gone,” Armstrong said. “That’s why we have an even higher vacancy rate than five years ago, which I haven’t seen in over 25 years with 168 vacancies. It’s just a phenomenal number, and I think that number will only get worse until they tackle the real problem, which is a retention problem.”

Raleigh Police Department

But Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said under the plan, Police Chief Estella Patterson will have the ability to award merit raises to veteran officers.

“[Patterson] has the ability to grant higher raises to those who may be earning more and maybe someone is overtaking them. So there’s a lot of discretion,” Baldwin said.

City leaders are balancing the increase in entry salaries, Baldwin said, by rewarding long-term employees as they work to fill vacancies.

“We have to look at the city as a whole, so I think we’re doing our best,” Baldwin said.

WRAL News reached out to Patterson for an interview Thursday. She initially agreed, but then backed off, saying she would withhold her comments on staffing and pay until the budget process was complete. The city’s budget will be voted on in June and will come into effect on July 1.