Detroit Police get pay raise, which is step toward losing fewer officers to suburbs

Posted at 7:08 PM, Oct 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-18 19:10:36-04

Detroit Police Officers are getting a seven percent raise over the next three years., and officers with more seniority will get additional raises.

This is the second time since Detroit went into bankruptcy that the union contract is being settled early. This is being done to keep officers from leaving Detroit for the suburbs or other states for more pay.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said at a news conference, “A starting officer here is making $39,000. You can check the numbers in Southfield, it’s going to be in the 40's. You’ve got some other communities probably starting at 50 (thousand). But it’s a whole lot closer than $29,000.”

Detroit pays for police recruits to go through the police academy. However, many young officers are leaving. There could be a requirement in the future that they have to stay for five years, or pay to leave. 

“We will be looking at some measures to prevent our suburban neighbors from freeloading,” Duggan said.

The President of the Detroit Police Officers Association, Mark Diaz, said, “We had a situation where amazingly we had everyone pushing in the same direction for the same cause. And that cause is to provide the citizens with the very best. This is a huge step in the right direction. Make no mistake it is not the final solution.”

The new contract would run through 2022 and has to be approved by the Detroit City Council. New sources of revenue will help pay for the raises. 

Janee Ayres is one of the council members who was at the news conference.  

“Because they deserve it," Ayers said. "They deserve everything that they’ve gotten and they deserve ten thousand times more than that.”

Police Chief James Craig came back to Detroit right at the beginning of the bankruptcy five years ago, and he says those were very dark days for police.

“Officers were forced to work 12 hours shifts," Craig said. "Ten percent of their pay had been taken. It was a recipe for hopelessness.”

Other ranking officers are also getting pay raises.