Stevie Phillips, attorney at Davis & Hoss, PC, issued a statement Thursday, saying upper-level police personnel are stuck at their current pay levels and, in some cases, being passed by those they supervise.
She said she spoke on behalf of Sgt. Craig Joel and other members of the local Fraternal Order of Police
Attorney Phillips said, "We feel the need to clarify the scope of the Police Officer Career Development Program in light of Mayor Littlefield’s statement earlier this week that members of the department who have not received raises have not done anything to earn them and are apparently “content to stay where they are at.
"The department is divided into the ranks of captain, lieutenant, sergeant, and officer. The Police Officer Career Development Program applies only to officers. To benefit from the program’s training and associated pay raises, members of the top three ranks would have to actually take a demotion. The large majority of these men and women were promoted before the Career Development Program was implemented and have therefore never had an opportunity to reap its benefits.
"There is no incentivized pay plan for members of the top three ranks: most of those individuals have been stuck at their current salaries since at least 2010.
"As a result, there is now a pay anomaly. Specifically, some officers within the Police Officer Career Development Program are now making more money than their supervising sergeants. Similarly, there are recently promoted sergeants who have just completed the Career Development Program who are making more than sergeants with three-plus years in rank. These new sergeants climbed the Career Development Program ladder and then received an additional raise at the time of their promotion.
"Sgt. Craig Joel and other members of the department have repeatedly filed grievances on this issue but have been told time and time again that they cannot grieve pay. What the mayor does not appear to realize is that the current pay plan undermines the allocation of authority and responsibility within the department by rewarding younger, less experienced officers at the expense of their older, more experienced supervisors.
"The solution is the establishment of pay ranges that reflect the chain of command and prevent future anomalies - a task that does not require a multi-million-dollar career advancement study as the mayor has now suggested. These men and women are not asking for raises, they are simply asking for a plan that is fair and equitable. The City Code and the department’s policy manual guarantee them at least that much."
Davis & Hoss, PC, Attorneys represent the local Fraternal Order of Police.