The New Orleans City Council has voted to give city police their second substantial raise in less than a year. Under the new pay scale, recruits will receive 12.5 percent more money and veteran officers will receive a 10 percent raise.

“This action makes the NOPD more competitive for new recruits and will stop the exodus of veteran officers leaving the department for other law enforcement agencies,” Mayor Ray Nagin told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I am glad to announce the city now has a competitive pay plan in place to increase the ranks of the NOPD.”

The raises will cost the city $3.5 million in 2007 and $7 million in 2008. No additional appropriation will be required because the city has not been able to hire as many officers as budgeted.

Superintendent Warren Riley told the Times-Picayune that the raises will help prevent the loss of officers looking for more money. “It’s very, very important,” he said. “We lost over 500 police officers in the aftermath of Katrina.”

NOPD recruits are paid $34,797. The base pay for a police officer level one rises to $36,570 from $33,111. A police officer level four will see an increase to $42,449 in base pay from $38,433. Sergeants base pay is now $46,885, up from $42,449.

In addition to base pay, NOPD officers receive a 2.5 percent longevity raise every five years. Special unit officers and FTOs receive a bonus of $1,500 per year. The NOPD also pays yearly bonuses for educational achievement.

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