The Detroit Police Department has lost 223 officers this year -- Why they are leaving
DETROIT (FOX 2) - Since the start of the year, 223 Detroit police officers have left the department. That's almost double last year's number.
Roughly half of those officers went to other departments.
"We have a number of officers that are resigning or retiring maybe earlier than they would have to get out of law enforcement altogether, and then we are also dealing with an issue of a number of officers that are leaving to go to other law enforcement agencies," said David Levalley, assistant chief with the Detroit Police Department.
Levalley said he isn't worried about the number of officers leaving because recruiting efforts are going well.
Detroit hired 138 new officers this year, and is on track to hire another 60 in the next two months. Plus, there are 90 in the academy.
Some cops that left were taken within a year or two of becoming an officer, or right after Detroit's police academy.
The city is working on DPD retention efforts, and legislation is being written to force other departments to reimburse Detroit for its academy and training.
About 35 officers who left Detroit went to Warren.
"Warren is one of the highest paid," Levalley said.
There is a big pay gap between the department.
"The wages after five years, you're up to almost, over $90,000," said Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer.
That's nearly $30,000 more than what a Detroit officer with five years makes.
"Right now the top pay for a five-year officer, base pay, is $63,975
A $2,000 retention bonus was approved in March for all 2,300 DPD officers.
"Until they get that salary up to where it should be, until they get a good pension for these officers, they are going to continue to leave," Dwyer said.
Retired DPD Assistant Chief Steve Dolunt said the problem goes beyond pay.
"Most people treat us great, they do. But then you have a different generation that tries to taunt you and try to push your buttons- and then are filming you. But they fail to realize we're people too," Dolunt said.