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Denver sheriff’s to get 7% salary boost in 2024 as city faces growing deficit

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(The Center Square) – The city of Denver finalized a contract with the Denver Sheriff Fraternal Order of Police that includes across-the-board raises as high as 7% in 2024.

Expenses in the sheriff’s department have increased from $136.1 million in 2021 to $167.3 million in 2023, a 23% increase over that two-year period.

Mayor Mike Johnston’s budget released in October projected general fund expenditures would exceed revenue by about $41 million. The influx of migrants to Denver is projected to cost the city $120 million in 2024.

The sheriff’s department runs the jail system. In 2023, the sheriff’s department had 1,085 full-time budgeted positions.

The agreement with the department will include a backdated, laddered salary increase of 3% effective Jan. 1, a 4% salary increase July 1, a 2% salary increase effective Jan. 1, 2025, and a 3% salary increase effective July 1, 2025, according to a press release. This agreement will also include setting the minimum overtime rate at 1.5 times the deputy’s regular current rate of pay.

The department will also add Juneteenth as a recognized holiday and grant up to four weeks of paid parental leave, effective July 1, 2025.

The agreement will also authorize payment of a minimum of one hour of overtime for all time spent attending firearms qualifications and will increase the one-time weapons allowance from $650 to $1,000.

“Today’s contract with the Denver Sheriff’s Department is a huge step forward for public safety,” Johnston said in a press release. “This will help us attract and retain great sheriffs to address the major staffing shortages at our jails. I’m proud to work collaboratively with our Sheriff Department and City Council to ensure every worker in our city earns a fair wage and benefits and can afford to live in the city they serve.”

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