A majority of Bloomington city councilmembers sound like they would support paying the city’s police officers more than the amount specified in the current collective bargaining agreement, which runs through 2022.
That’s based on deliberations that took place Tuesday, the second of four nights of hearings by the council this week on each department’s proposed 2022 budget.
Councilmembers are worried that Bloomington’s pay is not competitive enough to recruit and retain officers to achieve the currently authorized staffing levels. That doesn’t factor in the roughly 30 officers called for by the fiscal plan that’s a part of the city’s annexation proposal.
Bloomington’s police department is authorized to hire up to 105 authorized sworn officers, but has just 93 on staff, of which only 76 are available, according to police chief Mike Diekhoff. The number who aren’t available to respond to calls includes those who are on military leave, on light duty due to injury, and also those still in training.
According to police union representatives, the department has hired 66 new officers but lost 67, since Hamilton became mayor in 2016. Continue reading “Bloomington councilmembers want to consider paying police more in 2022, ahead of collective bargaining negotiations”