The Pismo Beach City Council approved a 5 percent equity raise for its police officers Tuesday night to help make up for inequities in their pay scale compared with other police departments and to help with recruiting and retaining new officers.
City Manager Jim Lewis said the department has had 15 vacancies over the past three years, and six of those were due to officers leaving for more pay. Lewis said a study of officer and dispatcher compensation found those positions were paid 2 to 4 percent less than the median salary, and 7 percent less than the average salary in comparable agencies.
To compensate for the deficiencies and to help in recruitment and retention of new officers, the city proposed a 5 percent equity raise followed by a 3 percent cost of living adjustment in fiscal year 2017, a 2 percent increase in 2018 and 3 percent in 2019. The department also proposed the city increase how much it pays toward officers’ health benefits by between $100 and $225 per month starting in May, with additional increases scheduled for each fiscal year.
The City Council unanimously approved the raises and increases in a three-year memorandum of understanding.