DETROIT (FOX 2) - The Detroit City Council on Wednesday approved a new contract that will give Detroit police officers a pay raise.
The contract will bump the starting salary to $53,000, which is $10,000 more than the previous salary. It will also increase pay by $13,000 for officers with four years on the force and a 4-percent annual raise.
"It is a great day for our police department long overdue coming," Detroit Police Chief James White.
Chief James White and Mayor Mike Duggan approved the budget in September – and the final seal from the council happened today.
"We are now competitive with the suburbs but many of the Midwest cities," said Mayor Mike Duggan.
Many officers were getting trained by Detroit police in the academy and then shortly leaving for other departments that could pay more. In August and September alone – the city lost 72 officers.
"The men and women of the Detroit Police Department face increasing violence, and they do it," said Lt. Mark Young, Lieutenants and Sergeants Association President. "This agreement gives them some appreciation, some respect."
The council was supposed to pass the contract last week but delayed it.
"I want to share that I am working closely with our police chief to find a solution to our non-violent mental health calls," said Detroit City Council women Gabrielle Santiago-Romero.
The councilwoman is referring to the October officer-involved shooting of Porter Burkes, a mentally ill man armed with a knife, which has some questioning the officer’s handling of the incident.
Chief White says he’s committed to boosting the department’s mental health program and filling 300 current police officer vacancies.
"This will allow us to put more into the field, in the streets, into the neighborhoods," Chief White said.