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  1. #1
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    Benefits for San Diego police not competitive

    Study: Benefits for San Diego police not competitive

    By Joe Hughes
    UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
    1:01 p.m. December 21, 2006

    SAN DIEGO – A study released Thursday by San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders shows the city police department's pay and benefits are at the bottom of take-home compensation compared with those of 19 other law enforcement agencies.

    The study was commissioned by Sanders in response to cuts that have led to severe police staffing shortages and an exodus of officers.

    It found that while some of San Diego's salary and benefits for police are on a par with other agencies, the cost of health care and pension contributions cuts deeply into officers' take-home pay.
    “The survey is brutally honest,” Sanders said at a morning news conference at downtown police headquarters. “San Diego police are at the bottom of the list.”

    The study conducted by Buck Consultants of San Francisco compared how the city's police salaries, health and pension benefits compare with other competing agencies.

    Officers at 75 per cent of those agencies have higher take-home pay than that of San Diego police, the study said.

    Sanders said he intended to push for police to be fairly compensated despite the city's financial straits and a recovery plan that calls for keeping a lid on pay increases for most city employees.

    He said any salary increase for police does not mean there would be a tax increase for San Diegans, but he did not detail how such a raise would be financed. He said public safety is and continues to be his No. 1 priority.

    “In order to stem the tide of losing officers, and also recruit qualified officers, I believe officers should be compensated fairly,” Sanders said.

    He said his goal will be to correct take-home pay deficiencies and get police pay to a competitive level when city officials begin negotiations with the San Diego Police Officers Association next month.

    Police have not had a pay raise in two years. The force is 214 officers short of what has been authorized and has a mandated strength of 2,108, which has resulted in staff shortages and longer response times to some calls.

    The cuts have also prompted police marches and informational picketing. One recent demonstration had signs that said “Don't Visit San Diego; It's Not Safe.” Others said “911 Please Hold.”

    Overall, however, crime has not increased measurably as a result of the shortages.

    The survey said San Diego remains the fourth-safest large city in America and that crime has decreased by 2.3 percent during the first 10 months of the year compared to same period last year.

    Bill Nemec, president of the San Diego Police Officers Association, said the survey points to two dangerous trends.

    “Well-trained officers are leaving for better paying jobs in neighboring communities and the lowest starting salaries is making it extremely difficult to replace them,” Nemec said.

    “The survey is the first step in a long journey towards a fair and competitive contract that will make San Diego shine as a community where police are happy in their jobs and proud to serve.”

    Police Chief William Lansdowne said upcoming negotiations would be “pivotal to the history of the department” and stressed the need for a competitive salary benefit package to keep more officers from leaving and halt further reductions in service and response times.

    A San Diego police officer, according to the survey, makes $10,000 a year less than 75 percent of the agencies surveyed. Officers married with children have an additional $7,200 deducted from their annual pay for their health benefits.

    Nemec said to make matters worse San Diego police took pay cuts of 6.6 per cent – an average of more than $3,000 each year – the last two years.

    The study showed that a San Diego police entry level officer 1 position has a take-home pay of $43,752. The median pay of the agencies surveyed is $51,587.

    Riverside had the highest median pay, with $56,460. Phoenix had the lowest at $38,875. Escondido had the highest median pay – $52,728 – of the San Diego County agencies surveyed.

    The survey covered police departments in San Diego, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, El Cajon, Escondido, National City, Oceanside, Anaheim, Fresno, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Murrieta, Riverside, Sacramento, Santa Ana and Phoenix; and sheriff's departments in San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
    or otherwise distort statements of fact.
    FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley

  2. #2
    jato's Avatar
    jato is offline Deputy Sheriff
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    Time to bail! We need laterals at SDSO...

  3. #3
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    Indeed we do!
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
    or otherwise distort statements of fact.
    FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley

 

 

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