Much of last Tuesday’s Bloomington city council hearing on the police department’s 2022 budget focused on pay for Bloomington’s sworn officers.
A key question councilmembers were keen to get answered: How does compensation for Bloomington’s police officers stack up against compensation in other Indiana cities?
At last Tuesday’s meeting, Fraternal Order Police Lodge 88 representatives told councilmembers that BPD compensation ranks 68th out of the state’s roughly 153 departments—still in the top half, but not by much.
That’s consistent with the 2021 data that the FOP Lodge 88 has since provided to The B Square.
The ranking is based on the numbers that are certified to the state’s police and fire pension fund. The numbers include base pay plus longevity pay. The sum of those two figures is the number that Bloomington’s police union is citing for the ranking.
The top combined figure is for the Porter Police Department, at $86,990. Bloomington’s combined number is $59,456 or about $27,000 less than the department ranked highest for compensation.
Bloomington’s $59,456 total is about $2,200 more than the statewide median of $57,260. Proportionately, that puts Bloomington about 3.8 percent better than the statewide median.
That’s a measure that has slipped since 2013. In 2013, Bloomington’s total of $51,131—compared to the $45,723 statewide median—put Bloomington’s compensation at nearly 12 percent more than the statewide median.
According to Bloomington’s police union, factors that warrants better than average compensation include the size of the city they serve (7th biggest in Indiana), and their level of training, as reflected in the department’s certification by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA),
Last Tuesday, city councilmembers indicated they wanted apples-to-apples comparisons for peer communities. They wanted to see compensation levels for other police departments that are certified by CALEA.
Based on the numbers provided to The B Square by FOP Lodge 88, Bloomington ranks 18th, or last, among Indiana departments that are CALEA certified.