Lubbock City Council to discuss police & fire pay - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/13/09

Lubbock City Council to discuss police & fire pay

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By Ben Lawson  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock Professional Police Association says they need to draw recruits to keep the city safe. The organization suggests a 15% increase in pay to keep the city competitive.

On Thursday, the Lubbock City Council could reaffirm a commitment to have the city's police and fire compensation ranked in the top ten departments for Texas.  Council members tell NewsChannel 11 the resolution will not allow them to make a decision on the LPPA's request for an incremental pay increase over two years to draw recruits.  "The main thing that we want to get across as a police association is we're not demanding a raise. We just offered a solution to try to fill the ranks of 60 more police officers in Lubbock, Texas to keep the streets safe. That's the sole purpose of doing that is for recruiting. I wouldn't be standing here right now if we were at maximum staffing. There wouldn't be an issue," LPPA Treasurer Brandon Price said. 

So, if the council is not making a decision on that, what will they do?  Thursday's resolution states the city council passed a resolution to put pay in the top ten back in July of 2006, and that was to be readopted every two years with a progress report. That didn't happen in 2008, so Lubbock City Councilwoman Linda DeLeon wants council to consider it now and readopt the resolution.

Some members have different opinions on what this action would really do.  "I'm hoping that this council is going to be smart enough to say let's do 5% now, maybe 5% the next year and then make sure that we keep them in the top 10 to that way we don't fall into this type of situation again," DeLeon said. 

"I believe it's an empty promise. It's a paper trail to nowhere, and I'm tired of piece of paper. I want to see some results," Lubbock City Councilman Paul Beane said.  "Crime costs more than a pay raise for the police department, so I'm looking at seeing where we can go and get the police up to where they need to be so we can continue to hire," Lubbock City Councilman Floyd Price said.

All three members told NewsChannel 11 they do support a pay increase. Beane says that any increase should include a raise for all city employees.  We also asked each member if they thought the city could reach their goal of two officers per 1,000 people at our current pay scale. Each member we spoke with Thursday told us no.  

©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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