Try this number on for size: $65,440.
According to an Omaha City Hall memo obtained by Nebraska Watchdog, $65,440 was the average pay for 667 Omaha Police Officers in 2009.
The City’s Finance Department memo, dated March 1, 2010, was written in the middle of the ongoing contract dispute between the City and the Omaha Police Union. Along with “Police Officer” the memo also lists the average 2009 pay for three other ranks:
Some City Hall insiders tell Nebraska Watchdog many Omaha taxpayers will find the salaries surprisingly high.
Omaha City Council President Garry Gernandt, a retired Omaha police officer, tells Nebraska Watchdog, “I haven’t seen that list.” Asked if he thinks Omahans will find the figures high, Gernandt said many will see the salaries as reasonable but added, “I imagine you’ll get some saucer eye looks too.”
In December the police union and the Suttle administration agreed on a new five year contract but the Omaha City Council recently balked at the deal. The Council wants both sides to go back to the bargaining table to make some key changes. Those changes include a three year contract and police contributing more to their pension.
Regarding the pension the memo also notes that the average salaries “say nothing of 25 years of service at 70% retirement and 30 years at 75%.”
Omaha Police Union President Aaron Hanson says, like Gernandt, he has not seen the list of salaries obtained by Nebraska Watchdog . But according to Hanson using the “average” pay is better than using what is known as the” maximum base” pay figure. The maximum base is the most someone can make within their category, not including overtime or specialty pay for such things as the canine unit or working a nightshift.
According to Hansen here’s how those numbers compare:
Average Maximum Base
Officer $65,440 $66,102
Sergeant $83,179 $73,881
Lieutenant $91,608 $83,574
Captain $98,925 $98,844
The council is hoping to have a re-worked contract in the near future and have scheduled a vote on the new package for April 27th.
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Reported by Joe Jordan, firstname.lastname@example.org