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Supervisor Herrity suggests giving Fairfax County police higher raises

Fairfax County police cruiser during traffic stop (via FCPD/Facebook)

Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity wants police to get paid more, citing concerns over vacancies and burnout.

In an email and during a Board of Supervisors meeting today (Tuesday), Herrity called for the county to allocate $20 million to increase salaries by 10% for Fairfax County Police Department employees with the rank of second lieutenant and below in the upcoming budget.

“While many factors have contributed to this challenge, including national climate, competitive compensation is a key factor that remains unaddressed in Fairfax County,” said Herrity, the lone Republican on the board. “Resignations in our police force in 2021 were more than double than they were in either 2017, 2018 or 2019.”

He said surrounding jurisdictions have invested more in compensation to address recruitment and retention and that many younger FCPD officers are leaving for other departments.

The police department told FFXnow last month that it has 1,353 sworn officers and 156 vacancies, with 25 recruits in the police academy and another group of 27 recruits who were hired.

Presented by County Executive Bryan Hill last month, the county’s nearly $4.8 billion proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 has nearly $80 million in discretionary spending. It includes 4% pay increases for all staff, with some groups, including uniformed responders, getting raises up to 7.8%.

A union representing Fairfax County police argued after the presentation that officers need a 15% increase to improve recruitment and retention, ABC7 reported.

“The compensation increases in the current package are a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to stay competitive and attract and retain the best officers,” Herrity said.

Herrity said he’d later present ways to offset the increased compensation’s effect on the budget.

The discretionary spending amount assumes that the county keeps the property tax rate the same.

The board agreed today (Tuesday) to advertise a tax rate of $1.14 per $100 of assessed value. That’s the same as last year, but the county can still lower that rate before the fiscal year begins July 1.

Because of increasing assessments, property bills would increase if the rate stays the same.

“We can decrease it to any amount we decide…at $1.14 or lower than $1.14,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said.

Photo via FCPD/Facebook

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