NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans City Council focuses on pay raises for the New Orleans Police Department.
Last month, council approved a 5-percent increase in the 2015 budget. The Civil Service Commission voted for the proposal. At Thursday's meeting, council members will take up a motion to approve the amendment to the Civil Service Commission Plan for a pay increase for recruits and officers.
The NOPD hopes to have more than 1,200 officers on the force by the end of 2015. To do that, the department needs to hire more than 700 officers in the next 12 months. During a series of budget hearings earlier this fall, police unions said a 5-percent pay raise is totally inadequate.
"Officers aren't coming here and officers are leaving because they can't afford to work here any longer, it's that simple," explained Eric Hesslet, an attorney for the Police Association on New Orleans.
"The pay raise is not just about officers wanting more money, they want more officers and the way to do that is with a more robust pay raise," added Simon Hargrove, head of the Black Organization of Police.
With the money already in next year's budget and the approval of the Civil Service Commission, Thursday's vote is expected to pass rather quickly.