Los Angeles police officers would get a pay increase of more than 10 percent during the next three years under a contract offer made by city officials, reports the Los Angeles Times. An agreement with the police union would be welcome news for mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is pressing for an increase in trash fees to pay for expansion of the police force.
“From a selfish standpoint: The happier the cops are, the better, and if they get the deserved pay raise, it will make it easier for me in recruiting because it will make us competitive,” said Police Chief William Bratton. The city has been unable to attract enough police candidates to meet its hiring goals; officials are having trouble competing with law enforcement agencies that pay higher salaries. The mayor’s budget proposal for the fiscal year beginning July 1 calls for the police force to expand by 135 officers. Villaraigosa said that even if the city is able to add 1,000 new officers over the next five years, Los Angeles still would have fewer officers per capita than other major cities, including Chicago.