LAPORTE | Police in LaPorte came out in large numbers Monday night, pushing for an increase in wages and other benefits ranked toward the bottom compared to other area law enforcement agencies.
LaPorte Fraternal Order of Police President Robert Metcalf told the LaPorte City Council the average base pay for an officer is $43,955, compared to $47,786 in Michigan City and $49,511 in Portage.
Metcalf said officers also don't receive overtime pay but instead must take compensatory time, leaving the already undermanned staff even more short staffed.
He said the low pay and benefits packages, including high deductible and costly out of pocket health insurance, for years has caused a high turnover rate and makes it difficult to find replacements.
Mayor Blair Milo said she would like to do more, but the financial constraints on the city are too great. She hopes to reach a middle ground with the police in the future.
"Unfortunately, we only have a certain amount of money," Milo said.