The Charlotte Fraternal Order of Police is calling on city leaders to give officers more substantial raises, saying it would be a good first step in giving officers support that they feel has been lacking in recent months.
At a public hearing on the city manager's proposed budget Monday, around a dozen uniformed officers stood as members of the FOP Lodge 9 addressed city council. Travis Cook, a member of the order, said the police department is struggling to retain officers, in part because of low pay, and also because of the atmosphere.
"Not only do officers feel they have no support from the community, they feel they have no support from city council," he said.
Members of the order cited a number of recent challenges the department has faced - one being the national criticism that rained down on CMPD officers after the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Sept 2016. More recently, the department has struggled with rising levels of violent crimes, especially homicides.
In the upcoming budget, the city has proposed hiring an additional 62 officers, and giving current officers a 2 percent market adjusted raise.
"We do appreciate the 2 percent," Mike Michalec, president of the FOP Lodge 9 said, "We don't want to take that and totally disregard it. We believe we deserve more."