Letter to the Editor: Underpaid and Understaffed Martinez Police Department

Why did it take 2 ½ years, after the post below, for the City Council to give our Martinez Police Officers a “special” 8% pay increase (March 2018)? Their pay, after this pay increase, is still far below that of comparative cities.

Our Police Department continues to be severely understaffed and this is the City Council’s reason we DO NOT have a School Resource Officer 14 months after it was made a funded Top Tier Public Safety goal of the City Council (June 2017 goals document).

Facebook post by the Martinez Police Officers Association (MPOA) on October 19, 2015:

“The MPOA would like to let everyone know we have lost three officers in the last year with three more likely to leave by Thanksgiving and others testing at outside agencies. Many officers are leaving for agencies with higher wages, opportunity for advancement and the ability to work specialized assignments.

The MPD has been able to recently hire two police officers and is currently recruiting for additional spots. The City of Martinez faces an uphill battle with recruiting because of the uncompetitive pay (over 20% below average with comparative cities), few specialized assignments and total benefits package that is more than 13% below comparative cities. The MPOA is currently in labor negotiations with the City of Martinez and struggles to get the city negotiators to understand the need to negotiate a good contract to keep other officers from leaving. The experience of our officers matters.”

­– Dar and Mike Fleming

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