Zachary Police Association would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the citizens of Zachary for their overwhelming support in our attempt to adjust police compensation. We would also like to explain to you where we are in this process and further explain some of the obstacles we have encountered.
Our pay is still in the bottom ten percent in the nation. There was no agreement reached between the Police Association and the City Administration. We are not pleased with or supportive of the budget the Mayor’s office unilaterally adopted without normal council approval.
We have presented a pay plan to the City Administration that would place us in a more competitive position in this market area. The proposal we have presented, if accepted, would keep us in the bottom percentile but provide a more fair pay plan and make us more competitive locally which would assist us in retention of our current employees as well as in recruitment of new employees.
The current proposal initially adjusts average patrol officer pay by approximately fifteen percent, even though our research, along with research conducted by council members, indicates that a thirty percent adjustment would be needed to meet the average in the state.
We understand that due to current economic conditions, resources are tight. However, we feel the city should place a higher priority on the compensation for public safety employees.
The Mayor’s office has hired a group to evaluate all city employee compensation. We welcome their evaluation. We believe that any person or group that objectively looks at the current pay would come to the same conclusion that not only the Police Association, but also representatives of the City Council have.
We do however question the necessity to hire such a group and spend thousands of dollars for their evaluation to tell us what we already know. It would seem that if the City finances are in such a shortfall that the Mayor’s office would insist that there is no money to adequately compensate public safety employees then we would not spend our resources in this manner. We are concerned that this is just a tactic being used to quiet the discussion until after the upcoming elections of Mayor and Council members.
Representatives of the Police Association have met with all Mayoral candidates. The Mayor’s office has not been receptive to our attempts to discuss or resolve this issue. We hope that all candidates will prioritize the issue of police pay.
Many of the candidates have expressed a willingness to discuss and resolve this issue because they realize that a strong police department benefits all of the citizens of Zachary. We intend to discuss this matter in the coming weeks leading to the election with all responsible parties and candidates. We will keep you informed of our progress or lack thereof.
We would like to take this opportunity to ensure that the citizens of Zachary know that each of us are committed to serving our community and will not allow this matter to effect police service in Zachary.
We hear rumors of strikes or sick outs by the police officers. These are just rumors and not a tactic considered by the Police Association because these tactics would impact the citizens of Zachary we are sworn and committed to serve.
Once again, thank you for your support,
Zachary Police Association