Durham City Council OKs pay raises for first responders

A Durham City Council meeting. Photo by AJ Janavel/CBS North Carolina.

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham police and firefighters received pay raises Monday night when the Durham City Council approved a plan to increase their salary.

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The last time city leaders raised the starting salary for police officers and firefighters in Durham was 2008.

City councilors approved the city’s recommendation to increase the starting salary for police officers by $4,000 and bumping the starting salary for firefighters by $1,000.

The pay issue is a problem Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis says she’s seen in her first few months on the job.

She said the low pay is making it tough to fill the 64 current vacancies in the police department.

“It’s difficult to attract because it’s very competitive out there, your good applications are being sought after by various agencies,” Davis said.

Durham police are also offering a $5,000 hiring bonus and a $3,000 relocating incentive in an effort to address the recruiting struggles.

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