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PBA Stands for Raleigh PD Officer Pay Raises

Jamie Rigsbee, President of Raleigh Chapter speaking to Raleigh City Council
The North Carolina Police Benevolent Association (NCPBA) is a professional organization dedicated to improving the law enforcement profession.    NCPBA members are law enforcement officers in North Carolina with nearly 10,000 members.   The NCPBA is not affiliated with any national or international labor union.  The association’s constitution and by-laws prohibit our members from engaging in, condoning, or supporting a strike or similar job action.  We elect instead to represent our members through political avenues, which is why I am standing before you tonight.
On May 24, 2016, at the direction of our board and members, I sent you a letter concerning what we feel are critical issues for the Officers of the Raleigh Police Department, which include adequate pay and retention. 
In the letter, I mentioned that the proposed budget does nothing to address these issues.   Compensation is how an employer demonstrates the value of a position in terms of the amount and quality of work performed for an organization. 
The city’s response to its employees regarding pay concerns is to , “Hold on, we are doing a comprehensive pay study.”  To tell the officers and employees that you are doing a “pay study” is like saying, “the check is in the mail” but is there really a check?  The employees of the Police Department have been “holding on” and have been continuing to get the job done with less, while the city reaps the benefits.  The city receives accolade after accolade and we know this because of the constant emails disseminated by the city management.  Last year the top executives received large pay increases.  For example, one executive received an 11 percent increase, another an 11.5 percent raise, and two others received a 6 percent increase.  To this, I ask you, when was their comprehensive pay study conducted to see that such an increase was needed or warranted?
Low pay is tied directly to the retention issue facing the Raleigh Police Department.  Based on the City Manager’s Budget presentation, the city’s population is steadily increasing.  Currently, these Officers are doing more with less.  According to information received from a public records request, as of    May 19, 2016 there were 37 sworn vacancies with 40 recruits in the academy.  The academy recruits are of no use to the city until they complete training in order to answer calls on their own.
Using this data and based on our current staffing levels, there are 77 sworn position vacancies in the Raleigh Police Department. 
As I stated in the letter, surrounding agencies have better pay and require less work so our Officers are going there. Who can blame them?  The city’s response to this is that our starting pay is competitive because other municipalities do not fund their own academy, so the officer has to be pre-certified.  My answer to this is that those cities and towns do have their own academy; it is named the Raleigh Police Academy.   Since 2011, 116 Officers have left the department; this number DOES NOT include retirements or terminations.  The city is throwing away money by essentially training Officers for other local municipalities.  Cary, Holly Springs, Wake Forest, Knightdale, Morrisville, Apex, and others are reaping the benefits of our poor efforts to properly retain our employees.
For positions that are not filled, Raleigh citizens are paying the salary of the 40 vacancies this year, and according to the city, the money is transferred into a “rainy day” fund.  Members of the City Council, IT IS RAINING!  The Raleigh Police Department should not be a “lowest bidder” venture undertaken by the city.  The community suffers because of the lack of emphasis placed on proper public safety; it is time to pay your Officers the wage they deserve to continue to provide the high level of unwavering service to the city.   
I will close by using a headline from a RPD recruiting flyer, “The Time is Now; Are You Ready?”  Are you ready to fix this issue? Are you ready to support your police department?  We, the PBA, are ready to work with you as you consider pay adjustments that accurately reflect the value, volume, and quality of work that Raleigh Police Officers provide our citizens and our great city.  Your officers that risk their lives every day deserve nothing less.
Thank you.
Jamie Rigsbee
Raleigh Chapter President

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PBA Stands for Raleigh PD Officer Pay Raises

June 8, 2016

NCPBA Raleigh Chapter President Jamie Rigsbee recently spoke on behalf of Raleigh PD officer pay raises.

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