City chiefs’ raises pushed
Higher rates will keep salaries ahead of the pay curve, officials say
The Honolulu police and fire chiefs and their deputies should get a raise this year to keep their salaries ahead of the pay of lower-ranking managers, public safety officials told the city Salary Commission yesterday.
What they make
Here are the current salaries for some of the top public safety positions:
» Police and fire chiefs: $114,624
» Deputy police and fire chiefs: $108,768
» Top-paid assistant police chiefs: $105,048
» Top-paid assistant fire chiefs: $109,248
» City prosecutor: $103,800
"There are many competent police officers who will not take the challenge of leadership because of an inadequate salary," said retired Police Chief Lee Donohue.
At the same time, city Prosecutor Peter Carlisle said he would like to see an increase in the entry-level pay of deputy prosecutors to keep them from leaving the profession.
"For once, we're losing people faster than people are applying," Carlisle told the commission.
The Salary Commission last recommended a pay raise for the police and fire chiefs, their deputies and the prosecutor last year, a recommendation that went into effect last July. The chiefs make $114,624 and their deputies $108,768. The city prosecutor's salary is $103,000.
Newly retired Fire Chief Attilio Leonardi told the commission that higher pay for the chiefs and deputies again is needed because departmental uniformed managers excluded from collective bargaining have been awarded 16 percent raises over the past four years to keep them ahead of rank-and-file officers who have union representation.
In the Fire Department, two assistant chiefs earn $109,248, which is more than the deputy. Effective July 1, those same assistant chiefs will be making $113,448, he said.
Leonardi said that new Deputy Fire Chief Alvin Tomita took a pay cut of $4,700 when he went from an assistant chief to his current post.
Leonardi suggested that the fire chief's pay should be raised to about $123,000 and the deputy's salary to $118,000.
"Send the message that ... your efforts and desire to improve the status of our community is important enough that we're going to pay you," Police Chief Boisse Correa said.
Deputy Police Chief Glenn Kajiyama said there are no lower-ranking uniformed managers in the Police Department making more than the chief and two deputy chiefs, but they are getting close. Starting in July, assistant chiefs at the maximum salary will be making $109,248, higher than the deputy chiefs.
Carlisle said he would like to see deputy prosecutor entry-level pay increased to about $47,000 next year from the current $42,000. Then, the following year it should be bumped it up to $52,000, he said.
He said the increases will put his deputies in line with the salaries of deputies in the offices of the Corporation Counsel, the Public Defender and Attorney General as they move up the pay scale.