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Richmond police officer calls mayor’s budget proposal ‘a slap in the face’

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Representatives from Richmond law enforcement and educators from the city’s public schools stood before City Council Monday night and expressed their concerns with Mayor Dwight Jones' proposed budget.

“At a certain point, those of us who have been working so hard for you these many years, we’re going to stop showing up,” Sgt. Paul Cline with the Richmond Police Department, said.

“The fact that we are still operating on a pre-recession budget is unconscionable,” Kerri Treadway, a teacher with Richmond Public Schools, said.

A large pay bump for new recruits to RPD is part of the mayor’s budget proposal, and it is not sitting well with veteran officers, some of whom worked five shootings in 24 hours over the weekend.

“It is a slap in the face to every officer in here when we saw this,” Brad Nixon, with the Richmond Coalition of Police Officers, said.

Back in February, Richmond’s new police chief, Alfred Durham, prompted a surprised look from the mayor when said, “I’m pleased to announce that the mayor has made a commitment that he wants his men and women of the Richmond Police Department to have a pay raise.”

The mayor is offering officers already with the department a raise, but it is less than one percent, which means many of the city’s veteran officers would be making the same as a new recruit.

“It’s totally ludicrous,” Trischonda Gill, a School Resource Officer in Richmond, said.

Gill has worked at RPD for eight years, and said the mayor’s pay proposal needs to change.

“If we’re going to bump the starting salary up $3,000, let’s bump everybody’s salary up $3,000,” Gill said.

CBS 6 requested an interview with the mayor about his budget proposal, but he declined our request.

However, his office did send the following statement:

“While some officers will not receive as large as a pay increase, it is in relation to the fact that those officers are in a position where when they do get to their steps, the increase will be substantial. It is more than the standard pay step as officers who are in the final few steps of the pay plan receive "mega" steps. Any action to increase their step even more at this time would just further contribute to compression between officers and sergeants.”