Police salary increases highlight of Lubbock’s newly-approved budget
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - In 6-0 vote on Tuesday, city council passed its latest budget, most notably with a $4.2 million dollar increase for the Lubbock Police Department.
“Our community is not 100% whole. We know those sectors that are lagging, but they’re catching up,” city manager Jarrett Atkinson said. “Our community is thriving and growing and the city’s role is to make that possible and to support it. The budget in front of you does that.”
“Everything from parks to streets to employees to the men and women who we rely on to protect us everyday,” Mayor Dan Pope added.
Earlier this year, the Lubbock Professional Police Association became outspoken about much-needed salary increases.
The campaign titled “Boost Our Blue” argued that Lubbock police officers were among the lowest paid in the state. But the city is battling higher crime rates in comparison and was losing experienced officers to those departments.
Tuesday’s budget approval paves the way for an overall 10% increase for police pay, but exact pay differentials will depend on experience.
In a statement, LPPA president Josh Reid said:
“With the recently approved 2021-2022 police pay scale, the Lubbock Police Department and City of Lubbock took a major step forward in addressing retention and recruiting for the Lubbock Police Department. Since this process began, earlier this year, the police applicant pool has become even more competitive. During the budget meetings, it was encouraging to hear that this raise was the first step to have the Lubbock Police Department back to leading West Texas. The new pay scale affords the Lubbock Police Department with the ability to hire some of the best and brightest applicants, retain our experienced officers, and in turn more effectively address the violent crime in Lubbock. We want to thank the citizen’s of Lubbock and their outpouring of support for our officers. We truly do live in a great city and we are grateful for the continued community support.”
The pay increases do not necessarily come without a tax increase however as proposed earlier this year by LPAA.
The latest budget will have homeowners with an average value of $168,000 paying about $25 more a year. That’s due to higher appraisal values, not a higher tax rate.
More than half of the additional revenue will be coming from new properties.
During Tuesday’s city council meeting, Atkinson also noted that this is just the start for Lubbock’s men and women in blue.
“It’s not done, it’s a process that we’ll have to continually reevaluate and push forward. But we’ll submit it’s a major stride,” he said.
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