CHARLOTTE, N.C. – There’s competition for law enforcement in the Queen City, as officials with the Raleigh Police Department will be in Charlotte this week recruiting officers.
Salaries for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers and staffing have been big topics lately, especially after CMPD officers went to the Charlotte City Council asking for a pay raise last week. Those officers are reportedly seeking a 15-percent increase in pay.
Mayor Vi Lyles said Monday that she is concerned about CMPD staffing. She wants to make sure that CMPD is staffed at the right level to curb violence in the Queen City.
“The most important thing is we have officers in our neighborhoods, and so when we have vacancies, we need to adjust and make sure our communities are getting the patrols and efforts that are necessary,” Lyles said. “Focus on those things, as well as where we have violent crime, and that’s where we’ll see improvement.”
Lyles’ comments come just a week after dozens of officers talked about the temptation to leave Charlotte and go to cities like Raleigh, where pay for law enforcement officers is reportedly better. CMPD said they have already lost eight officers from the force this year.
An internal document obtained by NBC Charlotte detailed salaries for about 20 different police departments, with CMPD below the average. The analysis, which uses U.S. Department of Justice data, shows the starting salary for CMPD officers is about $44,000, compared to the average salary of roughly $51,000 among the other police agencies.
“This is a hard profession right now to get people to buy into,” said Rob Tufano, a CMPD spokesman.
The data also showed Charlotte’s new officers get paid at least $5,000 less than cities like Baltimore, Denver and San Antonio.
The in-depth analysis also looks at the maximum each officer makes over time. It shows CMPD is 23 percent below the average at roughly $66,000. That’s less than the top salary for officers in Raleigh.
Raleigh Police tweeted that they will be recruiting officers at The Westin in uptown from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Friday, March 9.
In a statement released to NBC Charlotte, CMPD said:
Raleigh, like Charlotte, is actively recruiting many of the same people interested in a career in law enforcement, so it’s no surprise that they would recruit from the most vibrant and populous city in North Carolina.