Flint Tries To Hire Police With Pay Less Than Janitors, Manicurists And Bellhops

FLINT, MI — There’s a price to pay for safety.

In the city of Flint – one of the most violent cities in America – it’s $11.25 an hour.

That’s the starting hourly wage for an entry-level officer at the Flint Police Department, according to a job posting for a new police officer recruit.

A job posting seeking applicants for the recruit position was posted in August and calls for individuals 18 and up to apply.

Deputy Chief Devon Bernritter said there currently are openings for three full-time and four part-time officers.

Potential Flint police officers will undergo 16 to 18 weeks of training at the police academy, according to the job posting.

The salary for the first six months for the new Flint police officers will be $11.25 an hour, or the equivalent of a $23,400 annual salary, according to the posting. The salary following the six months isn’t specified in the posting.

The city was looking to hire officers five years ago, but was willing to pay about $5 more an hour, MLive-The Flint Journal previously reported.

There were 10-12 police jobs open in 2012 and the starting pay was nearly $16 per hour, or roughly $33,000 annually. Pay was set to increase with new officers reaching just more than $50,500 after four years, MLive-The Flint Journal previously reported.

The decrease in pay will leave the newest people hired to patrol some of the nation’s most-violent streets paid less than many other jobs in the state that don’t deal in life-or-death decisions, according to May 2016 figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, including:

Substitute teachers
Average hourly wage: $12.46
Employment: 22,530
Employment per 1,000 jobs: 5.348
Annual average salary: $25,920

Security guards
Average hourly wage: $13.05
Employment: 24,900
Employment per 1,000 jobs: 5.911
Annual average salary: $27,130

Restaurant cooks
Average hourly wage: $11.45
Employment: 36,240
Employment per 1,000 jobs: 8.603
Annual average salary: $23,820

Janitors
Average hourly wage: $12.56
Employment: 59,850
Employment per 1,000 jobs: 14.209
Annual average salary: $26,120

Blackjack and other table game dealers
Average hourly wage: $11.44
Employment: 3,430
Employment per 1,000 jobs: 0.813
Annual average salary: $23,800

Taxi drivers
Average hourly wage: $11.40
Employment: 4,240
Employment per 1,000 jobs: 1.007
Annual average salary: $23,710

Bellhops
Average hourly wage: $12:02
Employment: 800
Employment per 1,000 jobs: 0.190
Annual average salary: $25,000

Bicycle repairers
Average hourly wage: $12:21
Employment: 600
Employment per 1,000 jobs: 0.143
Annual average salary: $25,390

Manicurists
Average hourly wage: $12:82
Employment: 770
Employment per 1,000 jobs: 0.184
Annual average salary: $26,660

Telemarketers
Average hourly wage: $12:95
Employment: 4,490
Employment per 1,000 jobs: 1.065
Annual average salary: $26,940

Crossing guards
Average hourly wage: $12:34
Employment: 1,290
Employment per 1,000 jobs: 0.306
Annual average salary: $25,680

Garbage collectors
Average hourly wage: $18.32
Employment: 3,790
Employment per 1,000 jobs: 0.900
Annual average salary: $38,110

New officers will make similar wages to maids and housekeeping cleaners, who make an $11.18 average hourly wage.

The salary for an entry-level officer in the city of Flint is $21,000 less than the national average, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The national average starting salary for entry-level local police officers was $44,400 in 2013 – the most recent data available.

A new officer in Flint will earn less than half of the average wage for a police officer in Michigan, according to 2016 numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The mean wage for a police officer in Michigan is $57,240. The average salary for a police officer across the country is $62,760, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2016.

The new hiring comes as Flint police have said they don’t have enough officers patrolling the city’s streets for the number of 911 calls that come in daily.

In 2014, the city had 151 employees in the police department, including 129 sworn officers. The city’s fiscal year 2017 amended budget calls for 126 total police staffers, including 111 sworn officers.

Bernritter previously told MLive-The Flint Journal that he asked Flint City Council for 100 additional officers to combat 911 call response times that have climbed this year.

The time it takes police to respond to the most-serious 911 calls in Flint has more than doubled over a six-month timeframe this year.

Information obtained from Genesee County 911 through the Freedom of Information Act shows the time it takes police to respond to the most-serious calls in Flint has increased since January despite a drop in the number of calls.

Flint police had 3,019 priority-one 911 calls in January, according to the data obtained from Genesee County 911. On average, the data shows in January it took just more than 21 minutes from the time the call came into the dispatch center until a Flint police officer was assigned to the call.

Response times increased, on average, to more than 58 minutes in July for officers to be dispatched to 2,203 priority-one 911 calls.

Priority-one calls are categorized by dispatchers as the most-serious situations and include incidents like shootings, stabbings, domestic violence and other critical requests for help.

Flint has the 11th highest violent crime rate for cities with at least 50,000 people, according to FBI data.

Using the FBI’s most-recent data that tracks violent crime and police staffing across the country, Flint’s law enforcement staffing could be compared to police agencies from the nation’s other cities with more than 50,000 residents and the highest rates of violent crime.

Flint had the least-amount officers with 58 officers per 50,000 residents compared to the 29 other cities with the highest violent-crime rates across the country.

From MLive.com