NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The City of New Orleans is giving the police department a 10 percent raise over the next eight months. Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the bump in pay is the result of the city exceeding the 2014 revenue forecast by $14.6 million.
Landrieu will ask for two pay raises for the New Orleans Police Department, beginning with a five percent raise on July 1 and another five percent raise on Jan. 1, 2016. The raises follow another five percent raise authorized by the city council last year.
Landrieu said cutting, reorganizing and investing turned the budget around.
"We're not completely out of the woods yet, though, as the city is far short of an adequate reserve fund and we still face substantial looming liabilities, such as the firefighter pensions and consent decree mandates for the police and jail," Landrieu said.
When compounded, the net increase is about 16 percent, bringing New Orleans police pay in line with Louisiana State Police. City leaders hope the raise will help with officer retention and recruitment.
"Combined with major investments made in new technology and equipment, these pay raises show that the City is committed to investing in the men and women of the NOPD," Superintendent Michael Harrison said.
Landrieu said the extra revenue was due in part to strong third and fourth quarter sales tax growth thanks to the new outlets at the Riverwalk, two additional Walmarts and other new retailers.
The city will revise its 2015 revenue forecast from $536.9 million to $549.1 million.
Landrieu said the city will use most of the additional revenue to build the city's reserve fund and help strengthen its credit rating.