Twelve Chattanooga Police master patrolmen filed suit in Chancery Court Tuesday, claiming that the department's Career Development Program has not been fully funded and that master patrol officers who are senior to other patrol officers are making less than some with less time with the department.
The suit was filed against the city of Chattanooga by Matt Rogers, Phil Grubb, Ty Cooper, Scott Crider, Vincent Holoman, Lee Wolff, Alejandro Lopez, Terry Topping, Mike Smith, David Ashley, Michael Hart and Charles Poland.
Additional cases are pending in Chancery Court on the city police pay controversy.
The complaint, filed by attorney Scott Bennett, says, "As a direct result of Defendant's implementation of the Program and more specifically Defendant's failure to allocate sufficient moneys to run the Program a pay disparity exists among the Master Patrolmen. Plaintiffs who are long time Master Patrolmen are earning less money than recently promoted Master Patrolmen who have essentially the same training and less experience. Other Plaintiffs who have been recently promoted to the level of Master Patrolmen have been arbitrarily denied their Master Patrolmen raises creating further disparity in salary among the P4 officers. There is no rhyme or reason to the Defendant's policy."
It says, "The Chattanooga Police Department and Police Chief Bobby Dodd are aware of these pay disparities and have been working diligently to help those police officers who have been affected. On information and belief Police Chief Bobby Dodd has brought this issue of the disparity in salaries resulting from the implementation of the Program to the attention of the mayor of Chattanooga and the city administration. The mayor of Chattanooga and the city administration either fail to understand the issue or are willfully ignoring the issue to the detriment of Plaintiffs and Chattanooga's
police force. Furthermore, the Mayor has recently frozen all monies set aside for salary increases making the pay disparity issue exponentially worse."
The complaint says the plaintiffs "have suffered a loss of income and have been treated inequitably and unfairly relative to their fellow officers."
The plaintiffs are asking for an adjustment of their pay and pension benefits upward and for retroactive pay.