DETROIT (WJBK) - Detroit police officers are getting a raise and a two-year contract extension.
It's a boost in pay for the hard-working men and women in blue. The Detroit Police Officers Association approved a new contract through 2022. All Detroit police officers will receive a seven percent base wage increase over the next three years.
"I know these officers choose this career because they love the job," said Mayor Mike Duggan. "They deserve to be paid fairly."
"These are the officers who put their lives on the line each and every day," Chief James Craig said. "As I have often said, these are the hardest working men and women in policing in the country."
The new contract gives officers an immediate two percent increase and 2.5-percent increases in each of the last two years of the agreement.
"In addition to the two percent raise we are immediately restoring four holidays that taken away during the bankruptcy," Duggan said.
Craig said he recalled the stress the department was under when the city filed for bankruptcy.
"The officers were forced on 12 hour shifts, 10 percent of their pay was taken it was a recipe for hopelessness."
But also under the new contract officers with at least 15 years on the force and those who respond to 911 calls daily, will be offered an annual promotional opportunity to the rank of corporal.
Craig says promotional exams every year bring excitement and boost morale.
"We talked about introducing rank of corporal, introducing the rank of neighborhood police officer, the rank of detective, and now master sergeant," Craig said. "Those positions did not exist."
The new contract -- passed along to Detroit city council Thursday for approval.
"The men and women of the Detroit Police Department are phenomenal," said Councilwoman Janee Ayers. "We all know that. I wouldn't want to do their job."
The base pay now is up to roughly $39,000 which is $10,000 more than in 2014. And while there are still many issues to be dealt with not only to attract but to retain officers, it is a huge step in the right direction said Mark Diaz, the head of the Detroit Police Officers Association.
"Make no mistake," Diaz said, it is not the final solution.
Chief Craig added that another issue is officers leaving shortly after they graduate from the police academy. He says they are working on a policy to prevent that.