FOP: Raleigh police 'poaching CMPD officers in our own backyard'

Raleigh PD to be in town to recruit CMPD officers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Representatives of the Raleigh Police Department are recruiting officers in Charlotte and will be at the Westin in uptown from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday for recruitment sessions.

This comes as Charlotte leaders are discussing a 15 percent pay raise for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers.

"The Raleigh Police Department is poaching in our backyard, or not even our backyard -- our front porch more or less -- at the Westin down there," said Mark Michalec with the Fraternal Order of Police.

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Last week, dozens of officers packed the Government Center to warn Charlotte City Council that officers are leaving for other agencies with better pay and benefits.

The FOP also wants retirement insurance for those hired after 2009, the top salary pay plan to be reduced from 13 steps to seven, and take-home cars for officers who live in city limits.

Last year, 114 police officers were hired but 120 left CMPD, according to FOP officials. Last week, a CMPD spokesperson told Channel 9 that so far this year, eight officers have left the department.

The starting pay for a Raleigh Police Department recruit is $41,068, with a 3 percent increase after graduation from the academy. The starting pay for CMPD is $43,492.

Michalec said Raleigh offers retirement insurance and an officer can earn up to $77,000 compared to $66,000 with CMPD.

"The city needs to definitely be concerned about this," Michalec said. "This is exactly what we were trying to address to them."

"Raleigh, like Charlotte, is actively recruiting many of the same people interested in a career in law enforcement, so it's no surprise that they would recruit from the most vibrant and populous city in North Carolina," Deputy Chief Jeff Estes said. "CMPD recruits all across the state for the same purpose."

The city is putting up new ads at the EpicCentre and is launching a "Be The Difference" campaign that is targeting transfers and new recruits.

The city is also launching video promotions on the government channel. Councilman Tariq Bokhari said the issue has City Council's attention.

"We definitely hear you and I would say we are not just looking into it, we are actively asking for updates because we know how important it is," Bokhari said.

Charlotte City Council will likely discuss a potential pay raise after City Manager Marcus Jones proposes his budget on May 7.

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