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Published: Tuesday, 2/23/2010

Delta police officers, their secretary to receive pay raises


DELTA - Raises for Delta's six police officers and their secretary were approved last week by village council, but other village employees' pay will not change.

In approving the 2.8 percent raises, council accepted Village Administrator Derek Allen's recommendation that without the pay increases, Delta would be at risk of losing its officers to other communities.

"Even in tough economic times, we have to be competitive," Mr. Allen said during a committee discussion last month. "If we lose people, we will suffer as a community. And the Delta Police Department did not get the pay and benefit enhancements that many other communities offered in better times."

The raises, approved 5-0 with Councilman Marcy LeFevre absent, will cost the village about $7,700 annually, and that is "more than offset" by recent declines in Delta's workers' compensation and health-insurance costs, the village administrator said.

The police department's top pay for patrolmen will increase to $17.48 an hour from $17, and the most junior patrolman's wage will rise to $15.16 from $14.75. The police secretary gets a raise to $11.94 an hour from $11.61, and the lieutenant's salary rises to $42,724 from $41,600.

Police Chief Garry Chamberlin is not affected because his pay is established by contract.

Chief Chamberlin plans to retire at year's end, and Mr. Allen said that if Delta's finances suddenly tighten, police expenses could be reduced by promoting his successor from within and not replacing that officer.

"We are not in dire financial straits," Mr. Allen said, adding that the police officers had recently made the concession of accepting higher contributions toward their medical coverage.

"They have been patient," councilman Ms. Lefevre said in early discussions at a previous meeting. "They have been patient waiting for any raises, and I think they deserve it."

And Michelle Kranz, Delta's law director, said the police department's work reveals a "very professional" organization that is stable and files thorough reports.

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