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San Diego Police Salary Boost Agreement To Go Before City Council

The San Diego City Administration Building is shown in this undated photo.

Photo by Milan Kovacevic

Above: The San Diego City Administration Building is shown in this undated photo.

An agreement to boost salaries for officers to keep them from leaving the San Diego Police Department is scheduled to go before the City Council for formal approval Tuesday.

If adopted, officers would receive an 8.3 percent pay increase in each of the next two years, of which 3.3 percent in each year were part of a previous contract. Another 5 percent raise would take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Officers with 20 or more years of sworn service in law enforcement would receive an additional 5 percent raise on July 1, 2019. A 4 percent hike would be provided to all officers on the same date in exchange for negotiated changes to certain flexible health benefits.

In total, some personnel could see raises of up to 30.6 percent, according to city officials.

Officers have been leaving the department at a rate of 12 or 13 a month for several years, with some simply retiring but many seeking better take home pay in neighboring cities or with the Sheriff's Department.

A highly touted five-year deal with the San Diego Police Officers Association failed to change matters.

In August, the SDPD employed 239 fewer officers than the budgeted level, with many of those on the force being in academies or in field training.

Beyond the sheer numbers of losses in the SDPD ranks, city officials have been worried about the loss of experienced personnel to lead the younger cops.

About one-third of older officers are eligible to retire over the next five years, according to Chief Shelley Zimmerman.

SDPOA President Brian Marvel said the deal will help recruit new officers and bring in experienced personnel from competing agencies. The organization's rank-and-file has ratified the contract.

RELATED: First Of Three Temporary Homeless Shelters Opens In Downtown San Diego

The council members are also scheduled to consider acquiring a pair of large tent structures that will be used to shelter the homeless at Father Joe's Villages at 14th and Commercial streets. One tent structure opened last week in Barrio Logan. Another is planned for the Midway District.

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