HAWTHORNE — Police officers and their supporters packed City Council chambers last week and criticized the council for not ending months of labor negotiations and raising Police Department salaries.
Richard Kreisler, the department's negotiator, said police, who are seeking a 4.5% raise this fiscal year and 5% next year, have not had a pay increase since July, 1983.
Kreisler said that last year, the department had 64,000 calls for service and made 5,000 arrests. "That's a significant amount of work," he said.
In response, Mayor Guy Hocker Jr. said most Hawthorne officers earn between $30,000 and $42,000 a year, including benefits, and are the best-paid police in the South Bay. City Manager R. Kenneth Jue said the city, which is running a deficit, has no money to provide raises. Firefighters joined police in criticizing the lack of progress in wage negotiations.