After 10 years of no salary increases and a police force at its lowest level since 1989, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced a plan this week to boost San Diego Police Department salaries by up to 30%.
The salary freeze has decimated morale and the ranks. There are fewer than 1,800 police officers remaining in the City of San Diego.
The cost cutting has also led to slower 9-1-1 response times, among other concerns.
The move was hailed by Brian Marvel, the President of the San Diego Police Officers Association and SDPD Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman. Zimmerman told IVN San Diego, “The reality is, that we were losing police officers at an alarming rate to other police departments. We were having difficulty recruiting in this very highly-competitive market for police officers.”
At a news conference Faulconer said, "This has been one of my top priorities–to make sure that we get more officers in the door. This new contract will go a long way to ensuring this for many years to come.”
The current starting salary for an SDPD officer is $49,428.
Here are the salaries for some other local jurisdictions:
- Escondido police officer $54,564
- Carlsbad police officer $71,195
- Chula Vista police officer $75,322
If the new deal is approved, the contract will go before the city council for final authorization and kick in beginning on July 1.
It also comes as the City is working on finding a new police chief as Shelley Zimmerman retires from the force in March.