A public hearing will take place at Gainesville City Hall Friday to discuss contract negotiations for the Gainesville Police Department, a topic of debate since 2016.
The GPD has lost more than 100 officers within the last five years, according to GPD records. The police union said the department is struggling to retain officers because its wage scale is not competitive with other cities.
The minimum starting salary for a certified GPD officer is about $42,000. In similarly sized Tallahassee, it’s about $46,000, but officers there can expect regular increases. In Gainesville, those raises are not guaranteed.
“The citizens of Gainesville have come to expect a certain level of service from law enforcement, from the Gainesville Police Department,” said Matt Goeckel, spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police.
The police union said service could suffer if the city doesn’t promise a set increase in wages over time.
The hearing will begin at 1 p.m. and will open for public comment at 6 p.m.