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Metro Moves To Raise Compensation For Its Police Force

Transit agency says it wants to retain experienced officers.



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Metro has voted to change the way its police officers are paid. The move comes as its police force deals with a high number of vacancies.

Metro has a staff of 189 police officers that focus on transit-related offenses, but the force is now short 20 officers.

Metro board member Jim Robinson says that’s a high number for a department of Metro’s size, and he’s concerned because officers will soon have increased duties.

Starting later this year they’ll have to patrol two new light rail lines. In the future, they may have to handle more traffic enforcement on HOV lanes.  

Robinson says they have to do more to retain experienced officers.   

“We felt like it’s critically important that we at least be competitive in what we pay Metro’s officers.”

In response to those concerns Metro’s board has now voted to change the way officers get raises, to bring compensation in line with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. New Metro officers would get a starting salary of around $43,000.

The plan also includes salary hikes for officers who get college degrees.

Robinson says better-educated officers will lead to an improved force.
“And when you’ve got a police agency where you’ve got a very strong value system you get better performance by the officers and you have far fewer complaints by the public of people using excess force or not knowing the proper way to behave.”  

Metro’s analysis shows the new compensation plan would cost the agency about $2 million in Fiscal Year 2015.


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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

News Anchor

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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