Fraternal Order of Police ask for better police pay, question city council support

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - In City Council Monday night, the Charlotte Fraternal Order of Police called into question the city's support for CMPD officers.

Members of the FOP addressed council members during the public hearing on next year's budget. They said the pay for officers is not competitive with similarly-sized departments around the country.

As the budget stands now, officers are due for a 2 percent market-adjusted raise next year.

"Give police officers a true raise, not a market adjustment. Give police officers the benefits and pay they deserved," said Travis Cook, a member of the FOP.

Members also said CMPD routinely loses officers to other departments, citing the pay.

The FOP pointed out the need for more officers after referring to the increase in violent crimes, especially homicides, this year.

This past year, CMPD have lost 159 officers, and hired 160, which means they gained only one officer.

Cook told council members CMPD is having a tough time recruiting, partly because of the pay, but also because of the feeling that there's a lack of support from the community for officers.

The Fraternal Order of Police is calling this the "Ferguson effect," referring to the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

"Not only do officers feel they don't have support from the community, they also feel they don't have any support from city council. It is harder for the police department to recruit qualified candidates. It is difficult for the department to retain officers," Cook said.

The proposed budget does include money to hire an  additional 62 sworn officers and 25 civilian CMPD positions.

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