An arbitrator evaluating a new four-year contract for Las Vegas police officers sided with management and selected a government offer to raise salaries and benefits by 21.8 percent over the next four years, says the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The union, which represents 2,600 Las Vegas police and corrections officers, asked for a 26.5 percent hike. Before the arbitrator ruled, police wages in Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas already were among the best in the country, according to new figures from policepay.net, which compiles information on salaries and benefits from police contracts at the nation’s 200 largest departments.
When the cost of living in each community is taken into account, the salaries of officers in Las Vegas ranked 14th highest. Police salaries in North Las Vegas were third highest of the 200 ,behind only those in Austin, Texas, and Omaha, Ne. Police salaries in Henderson, Nv., ranked 10th highest. Salaries in Nevada are second only to California’s. Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said, “I don’t see anything wrong with it (high police salaries). I am delighted with the service we get from our police officers.” The new contract is expected to cost taxpayers in unincorporated Clark County and the city of Las Vegas about $50 million before it expires in June 2009.