DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) - The average Detroit police officer lost $200 from their paychecks Friday after the City of Detroit violated a temporary restraining order. It puts the city in contempt of court.
Many police officers were surprised when they got paid today and it was difficult news to take home to their families.
“Our officers are devastated. We cannot afford a ten percent pay cut in our wages,” said Kym Johnson, police officer and Executive Board Member for the Detroit Police Officer’s Association. She said the cuts go deep.
“Food off of our tables. Making life just that much more difficult for us,” said Johnson.
A starting salary for a Detroit police officer is $30,137. Johnson said that many officers make an average of around $50,000.
Mayor Dave Bing imposed the pay cuts to chip away at the city’s deficit even though city council rejected the idea on July 17. The union filed a restraining order on August 16 to temporarily stop the cuts and a judge signed it.
“We’re expecting Judge McDonald to deal with whatever excuse the city has for violating this temporary restraining order. They willfully violated the order and we believe that the city shouldn’t be above the laws,” said Johnson.
A spokesperson from the city tells 7 Action News that police officers should not have been surprised to lose that money today. The city’s Human Resources and Labor Relations management told the union and the judge that the payroll deductions were programmed before the temporary restraining order ruling was made and it could not be changed before today.
“If we owed the city money, the city wouldn’t hesitate. Each officer can testify that they would take those monies out of our wages,” said Johnson.
The City of Detroit is not supposed to make any changes to anything like wages, hours, or working conditions until at least August 30 which is the next time both sides are before a judge.
The mayor’s spokeswoman tells 7 Action News that since the city is appealing the restraining order, no one can explain if and when the money taken from officers will be given back to them.
The new contract the mayor outlined for the police department also makes significant cuts to things like benefits and sick pay.
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