CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - In Monday’s City Council meeting, CMPD officers requested a 15 percent pay raise.
“I've been a veteran of CMPD for about 12 years now,” said officer Daniel Redford, “and I can tell you, from an officer's standpoint, in the 12 years that I've been here that morale has never been lower.”
CMPD officers asked for the 15 percent raise across the board, among other incentives. They say officers are leaving Charlotte for other cities that’re willing to pay more.
“I've spoken to Raleigh,” Redford said, “and Raleigh has confirmed to me that, in fact, CMPD officers are applying.”
A chart, detailing CMPD salaries, shows on average that new hires make $43,492 annually.
“We had a net gain of one officer in 2016,” said Mark Michalec, President of Charlotte Mecklenburg FOP Lodge #9, “2017 we had a net reduction of six officers so we're not filling the empty vacancies that we already have.”
Since the new year, eight officers left the department. Although none said it’s about salary, those in the organization believe, generally, that’s the reason.
“You want to bring the All Star games as well as bid for the RNC,” said Redford, “I don't know who you think is going to be able to staff these events and be able to maintain a presence in our neighborhoods.”
“We need to seriously consider the budget ramifications and what we need to do to not be below average or average but exceptional as it relates to supporting our public servants,” said Tariq Bokhari, Council member for District 6.
Edmund Driggs, Council member for District 7 added, “I personally will be very engaged in making sure we get competitive with other cities.”
Some say City Council’s response was encouraging.
“They listened intently to our officers who were there with their families,” said Robert Tufano, CMPD public information officer. “It seems as though they're going to give this serious consideration.”
In a FOX 46 Charlotte online poll, 83 percent said they would support a 15 percent pay raise for CMPD officers. 13 percent said they would like to see a different pay raise rate. Four percent said no raise is necessary.