The Greensboro City Council has been patting itself on the back for giving police officers a 7 percent raise in the 2022-2023 budget.
The Police Department is currently short about 100 officers from its authorized force of 689 sworn officers. The last several Greensboro Police Academy classes have not graduated enough officers to keep pace with the average attrition rate of about 60 officers a year, which means the number of vacancies will continue increase.
In a static environment, the 7 percent raise for Greensboro police officers would help with the recruitment issues. However, the environment is far from static. Cities across the state and nation are experiencing similar problems with police staffing and taking action.
Considering what other cities did in 2022 and in their 2022-2023 budgets, it appears the 7 percent raise for Greensboro police officers is likely to make Greensboro even less attractive as a place to start a law enforcement career.
In its 2022-2023 budget, Winston-Salem gave police officers a 14 percent salary increase. Raleigh in its 2022-2023 budget raised the starting salaries for police officers by 19 percent. Charlotte increased the starting pay for police officers by 10.5 percent in its budget.
Durham jumped the gun on police raises giving police officers a 15 percent raise in January 2022. It is worth noting that Durham, the fourth largest city in North Carolina, had a tax increase this year of 0.6 cents compared to the tax increase in Greensboro that is equivalent to 8.69 cents or 8.09 cents higher than Durham’s.
Fayetteville also took action before the budget raising the starting salaries for police officers by 14.5 percent in January. Fayetteville has a property tax rate of 49.95 cents and didn’t raise property taxes this year.
Greensboro has a property tax rate of 63.25 cents.
Another major recruitment issue for the Greensboro Police Department is that Greensboro does not provide take home cars for patrol officers. Winston-Salem, Raleigh, Charlotte, Durham and Fayetteville as well as just about every jurisdiction of any size in the state do provide take home cars for their patrol officers.
The Greensboro City Council did launch a five year plan this year to provide take-home police cars, but for police recruits five years is a long time to wait for a benefit that is available immediately in other cities.