Changes Coming Between City & SAPD

When the contract between the City of San Angelo and the San Angelo Police Department expires on September 30, local police officers can expect changes to come as of October 1.

Although the City has agreed upon a one percent pay raise, the SAPD stated that they were not interested in a pay raise this time around; however, did want to reinstate their step pay plan, in which an officer’s pay progresses annually based on years of service.

The City claimed that the funds for restarting the step program would exceed the one percent already agreed upon.

As a result of negotiations between the City and the SAPD ceasing, the Department will lose some of the benefits that came through having a meet and confer system with the City.

For starters, the third Assistant Chief, Robert Martinez, will be forced to retire or drop in rank after over 32 years of service.

Martinez has been in charge of the street crimes division and the detective’s division but with this change in leadership, Assistant Chief David Hower and Assistant Chief Tracy Fincher, will have to split his responsibilities.

The SAPD will also lose three part-time police officers who help out in areas such as cold case, traffic and pawn shop detail.

The recruitment incentive of a $10,000 sign on bonus, paid out over five years for qualified new hires and officers transferring to different departments, will also disappear.

City Manager David Valenzuela stated that police officers are very important to the city staff, but fiscal responsibility is also important.

Chief Carter maintains a positive attitude and assures that his priorities of competitive wages and increasing staffing levels remain the same, and that the Department will continue to move forward.