HOUSTON - On Thursday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a new $125 million agreement that will increase pay for the city’s police force.
"Overall, I think it will be good not just for the police officers, but the city as a whole," said Mayor Turner.
The agreement tentatively reached between the City of Houston, Houston Police Department, and the Houston Police Officers’ Union, involves a 10.5% increase in pay over the next three years. The conditions will be officially voted on soon by the city council. If approved, HPD pay will increase by 4% the first year, 3% the second, and 3.5% the final year.
"I think people are starting to come around and see that we have to have officers on the street," said Houston Police Officers’ Union President Douglas Griffith. "We have to have them out there protecting our citizens. Our officers do the best they can with what they have."
According to public records, base pay for Houston police is lower than other major Texas cities.
Houston PD: $58,785
San Antonio PD: $61,178
Austin PD: $62,895
Fort Worth PD: $65,291
Dallas PD: $64,194
If the agreement is officially approved, the starting salary for HPD officers will be around $65,000. In addition, officers patrolling on city streets will receive bonus pay.
"After this pay raise here, we should be above almost all [other major Texas cities]," said Griffith. "We’re always battling with smaller agencies to keep our troops here. We’re hoping this will help with that."
Houston Police Chief Troy Finner says about 70% of the police force approves of the new financial conditions.