Fargo City Commission Approves Raises For Police and Fire

It found officers and firefighters are underpaid in the marketplace.

FARGO, N.D. (KFGO) – The Fargo City Commission has approved salary raises for most police officers and firefighters.

A detailed public safety compensation study that’s taken months, conducted by a budget team, compared pay with 28 other cities of similar size, both locally and regionally.

It found officers and firefighters are underpaid in the marketplace.

Police Chief Dave Todd told commissioners he’s seen a growing recruitment challenge because the city has fallen behind in compensation.

He said on average, in the last four years, his department has lost 8 people per year who have gone on to other law enforcement agencies or other jobs.

Since pay has been lacking, Todd said in the first quarter of this year, 10 people have resigned.

Most have said they can be paid the same amount or more doing a less stressful job somewhere else.

He cited police departments in Moorhead and West Fargo who pay higher salaries and have less calls for service than Fargo.

Fire Chief Steve Dirksen cited the same problems.

He said his department has seen ” a strong exodus” of key staff and fewer applicants for jobs in the department.

The increases will cost nearly $474,000, affect about 170 police officers and 120 firefighters, boost pay to 5% to 6% and are retroactive to the first of the year.

Because it’s a mid-year budget adjustment, City Adminstrator Bruce Grubb says the money will come from vacancies in some departments and from city budget funds usually not spent at the end of the year.

Commissioner Tony Gehrig said he supported the pay increases but said it shouldn’t be done in the middle of the budget year, and cast the only no vote.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News