The union representing Hawaii's police force managed to get a 16.8% pay raise for the rank and file over the next force. That comes out to about 4% annually, and based on the number of officers involved in the raises, would represent an increase in expenses for salaries of less than two-tenths of 1% of the City of Honolulu's $2.2-billion budget for next year. Now every dollar spent by government is under scrutiny these days, perhaps like never before, though some of us have been around long enough to see the term ‘tough times" used for any proposed price increases on any services ever.
It's been two years since local police have had a contract moving forward, and the lure of a "fair wage"- a subjective concept for sure- is surely a key component to finding quality recruits locally and keeping them home. Some of us remember the great migration to the northwest by our men in blue 15-years ago, as salaries and the cost of living in Seattle provided some with a perceived better opportunity than staying home.
So while any cost increases in austere times are tough to swallow, in the big picture, this increase for Hawaii's police officers seems quite fair and reasonable, especially given other pay raises handed out at the city and state level of late and the fact that local police salaries are now at or close to parity with other west coast metropolitan areas, meaning more of the best should be staying home. Think about it.