The Santa Fe Police Officers Association has ratified a contract for a series of pay increases within the police department, setting up likely approval by the City Council.
"The vote by the police union is a big win for the members, for the Santa Fe Police Department, and for our community," Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber says in a news release. "Our goal is to make the City of Santa Fe the employer of choice for talented officers who want to make a difference through their work in our community. This contract is another big step in getting that done."
The proposal will appear before the city council during its next meeting on June 26.
The pay increase, totaling $930,000, will focus on new officers who are "at the highest risk of being pulled to other higher paying departments" and follows a number of understaffed years within the department, the mayor adds in the release. It's part of an attempt to attract and retain younger officers in a department that has shed personnel over the past few years.
Recruits with between one and two years experience will, if the plan is approved, earn $22 per hour, a 30% increase over the current pay schedule. The increase will gradually reduce as officers move up in seniority, with detectives earning $30 an hour, and sergeants earning $33. That's a bump of about 5% for each.
"I want to personally thank the officers that stuck with us during this time," Santa Fe Police Chief Andrew Padilla says in the release. "The contract covers a variety of changes, most importantly pay increases for the men and women of the police department. We will continue to provide the best services to our community by focusing on the core services of the police department, the Patrol Division."
Editor's note: A previous version of this story included the incorrect rank that would earn $33; that pay level will be earned by sergeants.