Study can go long way to help police
Published 12:00 am Friday, May 21, 2004
Perhaps the best money earmarked in the $280 million budget, adopted by Suffolk City Council Wednesday night, is the little $50,000 item added at the last minute to fund a public safety compensation and classification study.
The move goes a long way toward silencing critics of city management who claim that that there has been an effort afoot to drive veteran police officers off the force. It shows that city officials are finding a real solution to the problem, and officers, regardless of the validity of their claims, should be patient and await the study’s completion.
Whenever there is great discontent among a workforce, money is rarely the sole issue. Typically, there are other factors that make employees unhappy.
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Some police officers claimed that if the city would just give them a 10 percent raise, everything would be hunky-dory. Don’t bet on it. The City of Chesapeake recently tried to solve a similar situation by throwing money at it and it merely aggravated the problem.
Pursuing the study is the right path to take. Problems within the ranks of the Suffolk Police Department did not occur overnight and it will take a thoughtful, systematic plan to successful remedy the situation.
Suffolk’s finest have every right to voice their concerns and every right to expect their employers to take those concerns seriously. Funding the study is a good first step and officials should immediately get it under way.