Vote set on starting officer salary raises, skate park design

Enid City Commission is expected to approve a design by Spohn Ranch Skateparks for the new skate park to be built at Randolph and 5th. (Spohn Ranch Skateparks Graphic)

Enid City Commission is set to approve Tuesday a pay plan increase meant to incentivize new hires for the Enid police union’s two-year collective bargaining agreement.

The new pay plan includes raising patrol officers’ starting annual salary from $37,041.91 to $41,641.60, as well as adding a $6,000 sign-on bonus program for new officer hires, to be paid in three $2,000 installments on each yearly hiring anniversary’s first payroll.

Each year, the city budgets for 100% of officers, which includes 74 patrol officers, so the difference between budgeted and actual personnel costs will cover the pay raises, City Manager Jerald Gilbert said.

“The Police Department is having trouble recruiting new officers and retaining the ones recruited,” the agenda item report reads. “One reason for this is because the starting pay for Patrolmen is less than other municipalities.”

in 2019, the average salary for police officers in Oklahoma was $48,060, the 11th lowest in the country, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data for patrol officers specifically was not available from the BLS.

The CBA also will raise of the hourly rate from $30 to $35 an hour when officers perform a two-hour minimum of security for third parties, and increase assignment pay to a flat rate of $250 per month for field training officers and sergeants.

The agreement will reduce patrol officers’ one-year step periods for a 6.8% pay increase from 14 to seven, capping out at $61,795.23. The other three positions — sergeant, lieutenant and captain — contain a 4% increase between steps. Sergeants can earn between $61,454.37 and $74,768.64 annually, with six increase steps. Lieutenants can earn between $71,114.95 to $83,194.43, with five steps; captains, from $78,427.65 to $88,220.44, with four. All department employees will earn at least their current salary.

For the current 2020-2021 fiscal year, 129 total employees are paid $6,381,205 for regular personnel services, a roughly $209,000 decrease from last year’s.

The police department is budgeted a total $11,009,310 for the current FY, and is projected to spend $11,451,595, with that deficit of over $442,000 to be taken from the over $3 million police fund.

All officers last received a 2.5% pay plan increase when the city approved the previous two-year CBA in 2018.

Commissioners also are set fill a vacancy on the Police Civil Service Commission. Seven Enid residents have applied for the position, to be served through April 2023.

The five-member civil service commission, which includes an Enid police representative, appoints and promotes examined officers and holds disciplinary hearings on written charges. It is set to meet at noon Wednesday to set interview and exam dates for patrol officer, lieutenant and sergeant positions.

New skate park, Kaw Lake update

Commissioners also will vote on a design proposal and award a $378,688 build contract for the city’s planned new skate park, to be located at Randolph and 5th.

The city has $300,000 appropriated for the park, so commissioners also will vote on appropriating the additional funds from the general fund.

The park’s design committee, which includes commissioners Ben Ezzell and Jerry Allen, approved the final design June 30 from Spohn Ranch Skateparks.

The city will be responsible for parking lot improvements, landscaping and irrigation.

The current skate park, located behind the police department at 401 W. Garriott, will be replaced by a proposed shooting simulation and CLEET training center.

Commissioners are expected to authorize the city to apply for a $10 million grant as part of the Water Production Military Community Investment Program under the Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot (DCIP) program. The funding will be used for the city’s $310 million Kaw Lake Water Pipeline project.

The city commission meets at 6:30 p.m. at the city administration building’s commission chambers, at 401 W. Garriott. A study session will be held prior at 5 p.m.

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