Local News

Fayetteville Police Present Pay Raise Plan to City Council

Posted June 6, 1999

— Fayetteville City Council members debated an important question Monday night, "What is the price of protection?"

Council members are going over the city's proposed budget, which includes a pay raise for police and firefighters.

Entry level pay for Fayetteville police officers is among the lowest in the state. Police want that to change beginning with next year's budget, and council members seemed to agree Monday night.

Two weeks ago,police turned their backs on Fayetteville council membersand abruptly left the council meeting.

They were furious because city leaders refused to discuss a better pay plan for officers. Monday night, city leaders finally heard the proposal giving the officers a reason to be optimistic.

"It looks like progress is being made. We're moving forward instead of staying at a standstill, so that's good," said Sgt. Wesley Waters.

Dr. Darl Champion, a criminal justice expert fromMethodist College, made the pitch for a career pay plan that would keep veteran officers from looking for higher paying jobs.

Council members agreed a pay raise is a must, but how much was not discussed.

"I think we're going in the right direction. We need to see where this is going to go, and I think everybody's been real receptive, and I think we got our point across," said Lt. David Sportsman.

"Tonight I definitely see a change of attitudes in the councilmen themselves. I feel something good is going to come out of this, hopefully. I don't know if it's because it's an election year or they're finally starting to listen," said Officer George Belanco.

Council members say they will begin talking about numbers next month.

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