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City Agrees to Restore Premium Pay Rates for SDPD

The decision to restore the premium pay on holidays was an effort to improve job retention in the San Diego Police Department.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

The City Council and the San Diego Police Officers Association agreed today to restore premium pay rates for officers who work on holidays as part of an effort aimed at retaining experienced officers.

The agreement, which will cost taxpayers about $3.2 million, was approved earlier by 91 percent of the union's membership.

Holiday pay was given up last year in exchange for more flexible benefits. The officers will keep the flexible benefits, while getting back the holiday pay and a floating holiday for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Officers have been leaving the SDPD at a rate of eight to 10 officers per month for a few years now, according to city officials, because of a disparity in take-home pay compared other law enforcement agencies.

Also, recruits have been opting to work for other agencies, mainly the San Diego Sheriff's Department.

"What we want is for the candidates to make the SDPD their first choice," said Brian Marvel, the POA president.

Last August, the council spent $2 million to enhance an annual uniform and equipment allowance, and to aid recruiting efforts.

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