You remember when the whole world stood still as the news broke that George Floyd was wrongfully killed by white cop Derek Chauvin? That spurred so much of an uproar. Including the very popular phrase “defund the police.” In such a case, law enforcement may have been improving lately, but most popularly, it’s believed that getting raises wouldn’t really be the best route. Except for here. Here, the VBPD is all for giving law enforcement better raises. Just ask the Police Chief in town, Paul Neudigate. He detailed to the city council that there are beyond 90 vacancies within the department. Is there a likelihood that law enforcement could possibly believe in that?
Competition is key.
Brian Luciano, the president of the Virginia Beach police Benevolent Association, believes that They “have to get competitive. We have to remain competitive. You get predictability, and that’s one of the things we hear consistently from officers.” This is probably drawn from the fact that the city wants police officers that stay. In fact, Luciano is optimistic that the city will see the officer raises get tied to years in the department. Much better that than in the current system, when employees are only able to find out what raise they can hit after the city manager proposes a budget every year.
Tuesday afternoon, the director of HR for the city was able to detail how city council members could be instrumental in changing the whole thing to a step system. Of course, some options would still move more city employees into the system also. Yet, there are plenty of questions on the specific details and how it can possibly work.
City Councilman John Moss says that “I’m not in a hurry to make a decision. I think this needs a lot more discussion.”
Of course, not everyone in law enforcement is wondering “where’s the fire?”
Retention issues aren’t nearly as drastic when you look at the fire department. Recruitment has just been a little slow. Max Gonano is the President of the Professional Firefighters Association believes that a step plan could attract recruits.
Gonano says, regarding the step plan, “It gives you some good ideas of what progression in your career is going to look like. If you promote up to another rank and go that route, it shows you what it’s going to look like instead of it being a big open question.”
Several other local governments are following this model also. Everywhere from Chesapeake to Norfolk. This has therefore led to a back and forth between police officers and city leaders. A meeting is expected to take place soon, regarding new raise policies.