San Francisco's Greg Suhr is the highest paid police chief in the nation, according to recent reports. And come September, his pay will rise even higher.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Suhr took home $321,577 last year in base pay and longevity pay. In September, he will automatically receive a two percent raise.
The Chronicle noted that the Los Angeles and New York police chiefs made $307,291 and $205,180, respectively, in cities with populations that eclipse San Francisco's. CBS noted that Suhr makes more money than San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, California Governor Jerry Brown and Vice President Joe Biden.
"It's not about Chief Suhr," said San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos to CBS. "But over $300,000 for a police chief of a city less than a million people? That's too much money."
While Suhr told the Chronicle that he was not surprised that he was the highest paid chief given San Francisco has "one of the best-compensated police departments in the country, in one of the most expensive cities in the country," Suhr did not negotiate his inflated salary. Rather, his pay increases kick in automatically due to a bargaining agreement that was made before Suhr's arrival.
The salary increase comes automatically as part of a bargaining agreement between the city and the Municipal Executives' Asscociation. "It was what it was when I got there," Suhr said.
The contract, which expires in 2015, says the Police Commission may also award "merit pay base annual adjustments" up to five percent of the chief's annual salary. But Suhr said that for the last two years, he turned down the $15,000 bonus.
"It's not that I don't like money," Suhr said. He could not take the bonus "in good conscience" while other city employees were forced to take 12 furlough days during the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
Suhr's salary is not the only one that has come under scrutiny. According to the Chronicle, Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White made $310,458, while Assistant Fire Chief David Franklin made $333,490 including more than $140,000 in overtime and other pay.
In all, the Chronicle found that 401 San Francisco city workers made more than $200,000 last year.
"It doesn't seem right," said Avalos to CBS. "And I think San Franciscans would look at that and believe that that's not something that matches San Francisco values."
What do you think of the "inflated salaries?" Let us know in the comments section.
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