Alexandria City Council stresses providing more funding for APD during budget review

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 9:52 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2021 at 10:12 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The Alexandria City Council held a special committee meeting to review the operating and capital budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

One of the main changes the council wanted to add to the budget is to find more ways to allocate money to the Alexandria Police Department to hire more officers and give raises to those currently there.

Last month, the council approved to begin a pay study for the first time in 13 years to compare salaries with surrounding areas and see how many officers have left for other departments. The current starting salary for APD is $34,000.

District 4 Councilwoman Catherine Davidson repeatedly said during the meeting that not setting more money aside to fill the 41 vacancies currently at APD will ultimately hurt the city.

“I think we need about $1.2 million for the raises and the pension match is usually a little bit more than half the actual salary number, so we need about $1.8-2 million to cover the raises for a police department and a new line item for recruiting. I found other areas that were presented in the budget that we could move the funds out of and put them in for raises,” said Davidson.

The council will have another special committee meeting on April 13 to try to finalize the budget. The budget has to be completed and approved by April 27 or it will revert back to the current budget.

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