ATLANTA – At the time this photo was snapped by this writer, Mayor Kasim Reed was at a contentious town hall meeting about strategies he would implement to reduce rising crime in Midtown Atlanta. One of the ways to accomplish this goal, which Reed did not mention that day, is to empower law enforcement and show appreciation for their oft-dangerous work, and one of the ways to do this is through increased police morale via pay increase.
Mayor Kasim Reed will sign legislation to grant pay increases to 247 Sergeants in the Atlanta Police Department (APD). During a special called session of the Atlanta City Council today, legislation to increase Sergeants pay was approved unanimously. The legislation was written by the Reed Administration and sponsored by Councilmembers C.T. Martin and Alex Wan.
“I am pleased to be able to reward our Sergeants in the Atlanta Police Department with a pay increase,” said Mayor Reed. “Comprehensive pension reform has been the foundation for the City of Atlanta’s financial strength and stability. I look forward to working with APD and the City’s public safety agencies on additional pay increases for sworn officers in the new year.”
Since Mayor Reed’s inauguration in January 2010, public safety personnel and city employees have received nine salary increases. In January 2011, sworn officers in APD and the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department received a full step pay increase of 3.5 percent, the first full step increase granted since 2007. In 2013, sworn personnel received two additional pay increases, for a total of 5.5 percent in increases.
The Reed Administration has consistently made significant investments in employee compensation and benefits. In the midst of the worst economic recession in 80 years, the Administration eliminated furloughs and layoffs citywide, built the largest fire department to date and eliminated staffing shortages on fire trucks, brought the city’s police force to 2,000 officers for the first time in the department’s history, and restored command staff at the city jail. Earlier this year, Mayor Reed made the City of Atlanta the first local government in the state to offer up to six weeks’ paid parental leave for primary caregivers and up to two weeks for secondary caregivers.