Phoenix City Council approves nearly $20K pay raise for new police recruits

Councilors vote 8-1 Wednesday night to give new officers around $20,000 pay bump
The Phoenix City Council approved on Wednesday a pay increase for new police officers.
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 10:23 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Phoenix Police officers will be getting a pay raise starting in August. City Council heard public comments for nearly two and a half hours about spending nearly $20 million more on law enforcement.

Supporters of the pay increase say more officers are needed badly. The city says there are 481 openings in the Phoenix Police Department right now. The city says they will use money that hasn’t been used from all the open positions to cover the pay raise.

The President of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, Darrell Kriplean, says the violence against police is like nothing he’s ever experienced in 28 years of being a police officer. More cops are walking away from the job as violence goes up. Paying more could help attract new people and retain them.

“As the city becomes the market leader in the state, the best and brightest individuals will once again be drawn to the city first where we will then as an organization be able to hire only the most well rounded qualified candidates at a higher rate,” Kriplean said.

Mayor Kate Gallego supported police officers getting more money. The city was below market value in pay before. Now, they’re above average for a city as big as Phoenix.

“We do attract officers who are excited about the variety of calls or the advanced training we have, but it was a hard decision for them to take a little bit lower pay to come here,” the mayor said. “Now it’s easy.”

People against this say the nearly $20M would be better used for funding schools, mental health counselors, or affordable housing. They say officers are being asked to do too much, and other professionals can take the money and better respond to certain types of calls.

Councilor Carlos Garcia voted against this. He said officers aren’t trained for many things they’re asked to do and added it’s not fair to other city departments who aren’t getting higher wages. The city manager said the police department has the most openings by far for any city department.

New recruits aren’t the only ones who will be paid more. Other higher-up positions will be compensated more as well. You can find the breakdown in the PDF below.