Minneapolis Police supervisors pay raise approved, could take effect soon

Minneapolis police supervisors are about to get a significant raise, hoping to stem a leadership crisis.

The Minneapolis City Council Budget Committee approved an 8% jump to their pay at a meeting Monday afternoon.

The Minneapolis Police Department leadership team is on the spot in the wake of the DOJ consent decree.

But they’re about to get paid more to find a new way fight crime.

Putting a new face on the MPD is a priority for the city and Chief Brian O’Hara.

"The mayor often says we need to pay officers more and we need to fire them more," said Council Member Elliott Payne.

"We’re working to change the culture of the department," the chief said Monday during the committee meeting.

A new culture is almost assured as old faces have left the department in huge numbers since the pandemic and an officer’s murder of George Floyd.

"The police department has lost hundreds of employees since May 2020, and is facing a significant staffing shortage," said Nikki Odom, the city’s chief Human Resources officer.

City statistics show 460 employees have left the police department and only 127 replaced them — a net staff reduction of about 30%.

Chief O’Hara says he especially needs strong commanders to reshape the department.

But turnover in those roles is higher than among the rest of the staff.

Part of the reason, according to city leaders, is what’s called "pay compression."

Commanders don’t earn overtime, so officers working under them often earn more than they do — up to $54,000 more per year in some cases.

O’Hara says that can undermine the authority of commanders, so he supported a plan to raise commanders pay by 8%.

"I think this is the floor of what we have to do," O'Hara said.

Some council members asked for more accountability and higher standards along with the pay increase, but none of them opposed the raises.

The council will vote on this again at their next meeting and then the mayor has to sign it, but this could take effect as soon as next month.