News Bite

Big 2020 Paychecks For Many Government Workers In Michigan

Private sector experienced lost jobs and income; a CapCon series

The city of Sterling Heights has a reputation for having the most highly compensated police officers in the state of Michigan.

The average gross pay of all the city’s sworn officers was $104,947 in 2020, up 3.3% from the average of $101,563 in 2019.

The most highly paid department employees were two sergeants, who collected $181,353 and $160,961 in 2020. The police chief came in third among sworn officers at $159,840. In 2019, the police chief collected $188,690.

Salary figures represent gross pay, which includes overtime and any payouts for unused sick, comp or vacation time.

In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Many private sector businesses across the state were closed and their workers made jobless by government-ordered lockdowns. But government employees appear to have been largely protected from lost jobs and pay.

For this reason, Michigan Capitol Confidential has been reporting 2020 compensation levels at some prominent public sector workplaces.

The Michigan Municipal League, the lobbying group for municipalities, stated in November that cities, townships and villages faced a “dire fiscal situation” due to the pandemic.


Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.