SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The City Council Wednesday unanimously approved a $2 million program to recruit and retain officers in the San Diego Police Department.
Large disparities in take-home pay between the SDPD and competing departments are causing San Diego to lose around eight to 10 officers a month, and recent recruiting efforts are barely making a dent in the problem, according to the San Diego Police Officers Association.
A tentative agreement between the city and SDPOA seeks to close the take-home pay gap by raising a $900 annual uniform and equipment allowance by around $1,000 and ending a 12-month waiting period before police academy graduates can receive the allowance.
The city would also fund recruiting activities and promotional materials, at a cost of $35,000, according to the plan. The money would go to booths at community events and job fairs, and production of a recruiting video, according to a staff report.
"We needed action to demonstrate to our police officers and the public that the city is committed to an effective -- and emphasis on competitive -- a competitive police department that meets job market demands and has the resources to protect San Diego neighborhoods,'' Councilman Kevin Faulconer said.
He said the item that was approved was only a "first step'' in retention efforts.
While the vote was 8-0, Councilwoman Marti Emerald said the first step should have been pay raises to police officers in recent contract negotiations.
Councilwoman Lorie Zapf responded that the council was responding to a crisis with the program and doesn't have unlimited money.
At a meeting in June, some council members said the city is paying $100,000 to train the officers, only to lose them to other law enforcement agencies. Also, nearly half of the SDPD officers will be eligible to retire in four years, according to the police union.
San Diego, a city of around 1.3 million people, has about 300 fewer uniformed officers than a decade ago, according to Faulconer. The current force includes about 1,800 officers.
Community members in La Mesa were planning a protest Monday morning outside Helix High School after video emerged over the weekend on social media showing a La Mesa police officer roughly slamming a teenage girl to the ground.
The amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland will arrive Monday to make Naval Base San Diego its new home port.
San Diego lifeguards planned to resume the search Monday morning for a man who fell off Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach and was never seen resurfacing.
Following rain and snow Friday evening and a weekend of cooler weather across San Diego County, a slight warming trend is expected to begin Monday and continue through at least the middle of the week.
A local war hero is about to be laid to rest. Retired Navy Captain James "Duffy" Hutton spent years of his service as a prisoner of war in Vietnam before he settled down here in San Diego.
Sunday marked day two of the government shutdown - and with the work week beginning Monday - thousands of employees may not go back to work.
A motorcyclist was suspected of drunken driving after causing a late-night car crash in Pacific Beach, police said Sunday, and hours later, a second crash occurred in the intersection while police were still investigating.
The San Diego County Planning Commission voted 6-1 last week to recommend that the County’s Board of Supervisors approve the County’s revised Climate Action Plan, with some modifications.
John Coleman, a long-serving San Diego weatherman and founder of The Weather Channel, has died at the age of 83.