DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Durham city officials told CBS 17 that the city council will discuss raising the pay for police officers as the Durham Police Department grapples with a shortage of police officers.
A city spokesperson said in an email on Tuesday that the city council will hear a proposal during a work session on Jan. 6.
Officials said that details about the proposal won’t be posted to the city’s website until it gets closer to the work session.
As CBS 17 has previously reported, for months city staff has been conducting a study on police officer pay and comparing Durham’s pay to other cities.
According to recent data compiled by CBS 17, the starting pay for a Durham police officer is $38,511, which lags behind pay in Greensboro ($41,513), Raleigh ($42,300), Hillsborough ($43,227), Holly Springs ($47,932), Wake Forest ($50,243), and Cary ($51,000).
Durham police said that there are currently 78 vacancies out of 537 positions, which means at least 15 percent of their officer positions are vacant.
But Larry Smith, a spokesman with the Durham County Fraternal Order of Police, told CBS 17 on Wednesday that the total number of vacancies in the police department is closer to 100.
Smith said officers continue to leave the department on a normal basis. He said this is taking a toll on the department as officers are taking on larger caseloads.
But he said with a new police chief and some new city council members set to take office next month, they are optimistic and hope to see a pay raise soon.