Local News

Some Raleigh Cops Leave for Better Pay Elsewhere

Posted June 2, 1998

— Raleigh police officers say their jobs and their lives are worth more than the $24,000 entry level salary the department pays.The Police Benevolent Association says that starting pay is less than the salaries in seven other similar North Carolina police departments, but the officers say the bigger problem will come when the statistics start affecting what happens on the streets.

Raleigh Officer Kevin Rooker takes a chance with his life everyday. He's more likely to be killed while on the job than almost any other type of professional, and Rooker is one of many Raleigh police officers who say, while they're working the third most dangerous job in America, their pay doesn't make up for the risk.

Former Raleigh Cop John Midgette helped gather the numbers that show starting salaries for Raleigh's officers are not only below many other police departments, but also fall below the city's cost of living. The Police Benevolent Association says good officers are being lured away by other departments that are willing to pay, and that's creating a gap between the numbers of officers protecting the streets and the number of people that need protecting.

The Director of the association says five officers resigned from the Raleigh Police Department last Friday, because the money just wasn't enough.

City Manager Dempsey Benton says officers deserve fair compensation for the dangerous work they do.

City council will soon begin studying ways to resolve the pay issue and keep good officers on the force.

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