Mayor Landrieu, NOPD Chief Harrison Applaud Passage Of NOPD Pay Plan
NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans City Council voted yesterday, Thursday, Oct. 26, to unanimously approve a new pay plan and job classification structure for the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD).
The new plan is designed to increase the number of officers on the street by addressing long-standing retention issues and incentivizing long-term careers on the force. Thursday’s approval clears the way for implementation of the new structure, which will offer more competitive salaries across the board and greater opportunities for advancement, city reps said.
“I’m pleased to see that the plan to provide our brave men and women in uniform with the support they deserve was approved today,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “We worked hard to turn around city finances, and this new pay plan will allow us to retain our experienced NOPD officers—ensuring we can continue to make every neighborhood in New Orleans safe.”
“On behalf of the men and women of the NOPD, I am grateful to the City Council for their vote, and for the show of support for our officers,” said NOPD Chief Michael S. Harrison. “With the support of our Mayor, and now with the approval of both the Civil Service Commission and the City Council, this new pay plan is finally ready to proceed. It’s going to make a big difference for our officers, for their morale, and for our retention rates.”
The new pay plan is part of Mayor Landrieu’s broader efforts to strengthen the NOPD and increase the number of officers protecting neighborhoods, city reps said. Since 2010, the NOPD has received a 15-percent across the board pay raise; an additional five-percent pay raise for homicide detectives; and has launched 13 new recruit classes adding nearly 400 new officers to the force.
The four key elements of this proposed pay and job classification plan are:
• Providing more competitive salaries across the board, to bring compensation for front-line supervisors in line with Southern regional averages. The NOPD will be adjusting pay for entry-level officers by 10 percent; seasoned officers in the ranks of sergeant and lieutenant will see still larger raises.
• Creating a new career path specifically for detectives, ensuring that they receive better compensation, and helping NOPD retain seasoned officers with a vital skill set as the NOPD works to further improve clearance and solve rates.
• Providing more opportunity for advancement for patrol officers. By eliminating duplicative job descriptions, the plan allows motivated officers to rise more quickly through the ranks, removing current administrative barriers to higher levels of compensation.
• Addressing long-standing “compression” problems within the existing pay structure, by rationalizing pay differentials between senior ranks, and incentivizing long-term career investment by veteran officers.
Donovan A. Livaccari, spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police Crescent City Lodge, said “We are pleased that the City Council voted unanimously in favor of this new pay plan. Now, we can focus on the other aspects of being a police officer that lessen retention problems and increase recruitment.”
The new pay plan is expected to go into effect in January 2018.