IMPD officers are set to vote on a new four-year contract with the city of Indianapolis.
The proposed agreement – approved by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 86 Executive Board last week – includes an across-the-board payment to all officers of $3,629 in 2021, no raise in 2022, followed by a two percent hike in 2023 and a three percent increase in 2024 for veteran IMPD officers.
The contract also mandates that IMPD will maintain a minimum staffing level of 1,743 officers beginning in 2021.
“Pay increases and pensions are always important,” City-County Councilman Paul Annee, Jr. told the Hammer and Nigel Show Monday, but I think that 1,743 minimum staffing mandate is perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of the new contract.”
The new agreement comes at a time when multiple cities are putting forth competitive bids with lateral transfers to hire away veteran officers from their current departments.
“As to whether this contract will be acceptable to the IMPD, I think that’s something that the FOP members will let us know when they make their final vote on Wednesday night,” said Councilman Annee.
Annee warned that regardless of the proposed pay increase and other changes in the contract, the issue of surrounding Indiana cities making aggressive bids for IMPD officers to transfer will be an ongoing problem.
Tipton Police are currently offering veteran officers $5,000 to make a lateral transfer, while Greenwood PD is paying $60,000 for officers with at least three years of experience.
Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore took a more aggressive approach, delivering an on-camera pitch in a recruitment video for prospective officers. Starting pay for officers in Kokomo is $59,444, almost nine thousand dollars more than IMPD pays first-year officers.
“This contract is essential for recruitment and retainment of our officers, but so is morale and support,” said Annee.
An FOP survey of officers, conducted in the wake of last summer’s riots and a perceived lack of support from Mayor Joe Hogsett, found 83% of officers have less than high morale, 93% said they felt they did not have the backing of the mayor in their day-to-day work and 91% said they did not feel respected and valued by Hogsett.
Just 21% said they felt they had the support of IMPD Chief Randal Taylor.
Click below to hear Hammer and Nigel’s full interview with City-County Councilman Paul Annee.