Detroit Police Officers Are Not Making $28K

The website Click On Detroit did a story earlier this year on Detroit police officers and their pay. It began with an assertion that the city's police are “not making a lot of money,” supported by citing the starting salary of $28,466. Further along, the article mentions an hourly Detroit police pay rate of $15.26, which would translate into a $31,741 base salary.

ForTheRecord says: Media news operations shouldn't uncritically rely on union officials for information on matters of union interest. Using the Detroit Police Department's terminology, the average full-time “police officer” earned $59,511 in 2014-15, with a great deal of that coming from overtime, according to salary data obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. These front-line responders are the lowest paid employees in the city's union contract.

Policing in Detroit is a tough job, and only a handful are doing it for $31,700 a year. Just 20 of the 1,406 Detroit fulltime “police officers” — or 1.4 percent — made $32,000 or less in 2014-15. There were 560 in the "police officer" category — 40 percent of Detroit’s street cops — who earned more than $60,000 a year.