San Diego boosted pay between 25 percent and 30 percent for the city’s police officers on Tuesday to help solve a crisis of departing officers that has lengthened response times, limited proactive policing and ballooned overtime budgets.
The City Council unanimously approved the pay hikes, which also aim to attract recruits to the police academy. They come as the number of officers has dropped to about 1,820 — more than 10 percent below a goal of 2,040.
In a separate action, the council unanimously approved 24.1 percent pay raises for 9-1-1 fire and medical dispatchers to boost recruiting and retention as the city strives to shrink emergency response times.
The dispatcher raises are part of a package deal that reduces mandatory overtime shifts and commits the city to a sharp increase in staffing that will boost the number of fire dispatchers working at all times by 50 percent.
The pay hikes for both groups of employees will kick in incrementally during the next two years.