Chandler beefs up pay for first responders - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chandler beefs up pay for first responders

March 3rd, 2022 development
Chandler beefs up pay for first responders

By Ken Sain, Staff Writer

The Chandler City Council is taking aggressive action to both retain and attract first responders, including giving most of them a 5% raise each of the next two years.

They are also offering most police officers a one-time bonus of $2,000 to be paid this July. Sergeants will also get the bonus.

“We appreciate that the City Council recognizes the difficulties of policing for our current officers, and how competitive the market is for new recruits,” said Michael Collins, president of the Chandler Law Enforcement Association.  “Our officers have worked incredibly hard for a very long time, and I’m glad we are able to find ways to reward them for the excellent job they have done to keep the community safe.”

Council approved memorandums of understanding with CLEA, and organizations that represent the city’s firefighters and police lieutenants and sergeants during its meeting Thursday.

As part of the deal, the city will try to add 83 officers over the next five years. It has not added any new positions since 2008 and the city has grown by about 50,000 residents since then.

One of the issues is that cities all across the country have had open positions in law enforcement that they have been unable to fill because of a lack of applicants.

Council is hoping the higher pay and the one-time bonus will help fill those positions. With the raise, Chandler will become the third-highest paying law enforcement agency in the area, improving one spot from its current fourth.

Some police officers and sergeants who work in specific units will also get another 5% raise. Those units are auto theft/property; criminal intelligence; financial crimes; property crimes/arson; public information; professional standards section; and K-9.

There is also a 2.25% raise for police officers who meet expectations or better and have been with the department for eight years or is at the top of their pay range.

All three of the MOUs say every August the city Human Resources Department will conduct a compensation survey looking at the pay in eight Valley cities. In addition to Chandler, they are Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe.

The eight will be ranked based on their compensation, and if Chandler is not in the top three, then salaries will be adjusted to get them into the top three.

There are also some increases in the MOU for uniforms and equipment as well as additional contributions to the health savings accounts for employees with five or more years of service with the city.

“These sometimes, always have, there was a while as you guys know, they always have bumps and bruises along the way, and I think the bruises and bumps are a little less this time,” Councilmember Matt Orlando said. “I think it’s a very, very good agreement.”