The President of the Police Association of New Orleans says the city will continue to lose police officers until there is a significant adjustment in pay.
As part of his proposed 2015 budget, Mayor Mitch Landrieu has proposed a pay increase of 5% for NOPD officers, the first jump in salaries in 8 years.
But PANO President Michael Glasser says he believes it will be difficult for the NOPD to reach its goal of a having a force of about 1,600 officers until salaries reach the levels of those paid by other departments both locally and regionally. The department currently has just over 1,100 officers.
In an interview on the WRNO Morning News with Gerry V., Glasser said "we're losing them (officers) to the state police, we're losing them to Jefferson Parish, we're losing them to surrounding areas and that's because the pay isn't as high as it used to be."
The NOPD Captain believes a 20% pay increase is warranted.
"We have to meet that 20% and exceed it if we're going to hire people," he said.
The City Council will have the final decision on what size pay increase is awarded.
PANO believes the city has the funds to provide a larger increase because it has not hired the 150 officers whose salaries were included in the 2014 budget.
"We didn't do 150 hires. We only hired 50. So the budgeting for a hundred cops is there. And they're budgeting for another 150 next year. Well, we haven't hired them yet, either," Glasser said.
"We didn't hire for almost four years and now we're trying to rapidly hire but we're no longer competitive, " he said. "The money is there, it's just a matter of how they want to distribute it."