Mayor announces landmark agreement with police unions to make base pay competitive with area departments


Mayor announces landmark agreement with police unions to make base pay competitive with area departments

  • Proposed starting pay, upon successful completion of the training academy, would immediately increase to $53,000; max pay to rise to $73,000 with annual increases
  • Increased pay expected to boost officer retention, reduce loss to other agencies
  • $25 million proposal to be paid for by continued growth in city income tax revenue
  • Tentative agreements await ratification in the next week by the respective police officer (DPOA) and lieutenant & sergeants (DPLSA) associations

DETROIT, Michigan – Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced today that the City and leadership from Detroit’s police unions have reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement that would provide a historic jump in officer starting and maximum pay that will at last make the Detroit Police Department competitive with surrounding cities. 

The Detroit Police Department has 300 police officer vacancies today.  The city lost 72 officers just in the months of August and September, nearly 2/3 of those to other police departments, primarily in the surrounding suburbs.

“Surrounding cities were raiding DPD because they know we have the most committed and best trained officers,” said Duggan.  “We’ve been working with the union leadership for months to put together a package Detroit could be proud of.  I really believe we’ve done that here.”

The proposed agreement with the Detroit Police Officers Association (DPOA) would immediately increase starting officers’ pay by $10,000 - from $43,000 to $53,000.  Pay for officers with 4 years on the force would increase $13,000 – from $60,000 to $73,000.   Officers would receive an increase of 4% a year for the next four years as part of the contract. 

A tentative agreement with the Lieutenants and Sergeants union would raise the pay of detectives by $11,000, sergeants by an average of $10,000, lieutenants by an average of $11,000.

Chief James White had strongly advocated for the pay increases for the officers and said he was particularly pleased with two provisions that will help DPD retain and recruit officers:

  1. Recouping academy costs.  Detroit has historically paid the costs of the 6-month police training academy for new hires, only to see other departments raid the city after graduation.  The new contract allows the city to recoup the costs of the training academy from officers who leave the city for other departments shortly after graduation.
  2. Lateral transfers are now permitted into DPD. While other departments recruited DPD officers and gave them credit for their years at DPD, the DPD was required by contract to start experienced officers at the bottom of the pay scale.   As a result, Detroit was unable to recruit officers from other communities.  Under the lateral transfer provision in the new contract, Detroit can bring experienced officers in at the pay scale based on their experience.

“I want to thank Mayor Mike Duggan for allowing the Detroit Police Department to be competitive with the other top law enforcement agencies in the country,” Chief White said. “I have always said that we have the best police department in the country, and this new contract rewards the hard-working men and women who put their lives on the line, every single day, to protect and serve Detroiters. This tentative agreement is our commitment to them, and a show of our appreciation, continued support, and respect for all that they do.”

DPLSA President Mark Young praised the tentative agreement, which he said would help support his officers and their families.

"I want to thank Mayor Duggan and Chief White. We worked extremely hard to develop this unprecedented Tentative Agreement," Young said. "This Agreement is an excellent start while we continue to work together to enhance the benefits of the members of the Detroit Police Department. The Tentative Agreement will make our department more competitive along with helping the member provide for themselves and their families. This Agreement is outstanding for the department members, the extraordinary Citizens, and this great City.

"I am excited about the future of the department and the City of Detroit, where I live, work, shop, and socialize," Young added.

Craig Miller, DPOA president said: “This is an unprecedented moment for the Detroit Police Department and the men and women in blue. This package will certainly benefit our hard working officers, their families, and the citizens of Detroit.”

Detroit’s Rapid Economic Recovery from Covid Made New Contract Possible

The City was in a position to offer the substantial raises because of the strong revenue results from the city’s Revenue Estimating Conference earlier this month.

The City of Detroit holds two revenue estimating conferences of a panel of experts who objectively certify the City’s revenue for the current fiscal year and the next four fiscal years.  By state law, the City of Detroit may not spend more than the revenue conference certifies as available.

The latest revenue conference was held on September 12 and showed dramatic revenue growth in the City’s revenues from the previous conference in February, 2022.  The city’s remarkable sustained growth in income tax revenues in the last year caused the Revenue Estimating Conference to raise its estimates by nearly $40 million per year over the next 5 years.


Total City Recurring Revenues

  February, 2022 Estimate              September, 2022 Estimate                   Change

FY23                     $1.146 billion                     $1.187 billion                            + $41 million

FY24                     $1.178 billion                     $1.214 billion                            + $36 million

FY25                     $1.196 billion                     $1.234 billion                            + $38 million

FY26                     $1.213 billion                     $1.250 billion                            + $37 million

FY27                     $1.228 billion*                    $1.265 billion                            + $37 million

* Trend

Total City Income Tax Revenues

  February, 2022 Estimate              September, 2022 Estimate                   Change

FY23                     $316 million                        $362 million                         + $46 million

FY24                     $342 million                        $381 million                         + $39 million

FY25                     $351 million                        $390 million                         + $39 million

FY26                      $360 million                       $398 million                         + $37 million

FY27                      $366 million*                     $403 million                         + $37 million

* Trend


The income tax growth would have been even greater were it not for the over $30 million annual projected losses from commuters who have yet to return to downtown office buildings.

“We have always made the commitment to our officers that as the city’s finances improve, we will make our officers’ pay competitive with other cities,” Mayor Duggan.  “I’m just really pleased we were finally able to make it a reality.”

The new contract is subject to ratification of each union’s membership and of Detroit City Council.

Police Officer Base Wage History 

Police Officer Starting Salary                 Police Officer Max Salary 

Pre-Bankruptcy           $29,352                       Pre-Bankruptcy        $47,902

7/1/15                         $31,700                  7/1/15                     $51,754 

1/1/16                      $36,000               1/1/16                      $53,824 

7/1/16                      $36,900               7/1/16                      $55,169 

7/1/17                         $37,823               7/1/17                     $56,548 

7/1/18                         $38,769               7/1/18                     $57,961 

10/18/18                     $39,545               10/18/18                    $59,120 

7/1/19                      $40,732               7/1/19                     $60,893 

7/1/20                      $41,751               7/1/20                     $62,415 

7/1/21                      $42,795               7/1/21                     $63,975 


Today                          $53,000                       Today                       $73,000

7/1/23                         $55,120                       7/1/23                         $75,920

7/1/24                         $57,325                       7/1/24                         $78,957

7/1/25                         $59,618                       7/1/25                         $82,115

7/1/26                         $62,003                       7/1/26                         $85,400