Finance Committee Votes to Include First Responder Raises

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It appears first responders in Mobile will be getting a raise after all.

The mayor had proposed $5,000 raise for mobile police officers and a fluctuating amount for firefighters in next year’s budget.

However, police Chief James Barber said there were rumblings early this week that some members of the council wanted to shift the funds to other areas of the budget.

Barber put out a plea on social media urging the council to keep the raises in place.

In response about 100 MPD officers showed up Wednesday to a finance committee meeting to voice their concerns about the plans.

The committee took not and unanimously recommended to include the raises in next year’s budget.

“And so we are very proud that we were able to accomplish it and the city council is supporting it and apparently supporting it unanimously,” said Police Chief James Barber. “Compensation has to be provided that is competitive but you also have to have the support of leadership for law enforcement in order for them to do their jobs and to do it well.”

While all of the council said they were in support of first responder raises, some council members did say they were concerned that not all city employees would be getting raises.

“We have got to find the money to give the rest of the people a raise, a bonus or something. I don’t want to leave here saying we are going to bring the police up to par when we are not giving the rest of our employees one nickel,” said Councilman Fred Richardson.

The raises will go into effect October 1, once the entire budget is approved by the full council.

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