May 2020 Letter From Board President Jim Carson

Posted on Jun 8, 2020

The Board of Directors of the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association vigorously opposes any decrease in pay and/or benefits for CSPD sworn and essential personnel due to revenue shortfalls driven by COVID-19.

While the City of Colorado Springs must maintain a balanced budget in accordance with the City Charter, a reduction in compensation of law enforcement officers and other essential personnel is an unacceptable solution for numerous reasons.  Chief among them:

You have continued to protect and serve the citizens of Colorado Springs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic at great risk to the well-being of yourself and your families.

You have already been impacted by COVID-19 through reductions in training; travel; educational assistance; uniform and protective gear replacement; and extra duty and overtime assignments.

After several years of a significant lag in compensation compared to other Front Range agencies, CSPD is currently reflective of the market average.

There is no definitive plan to bring compensation back to market average.

A reduction in compensation will affect sick time and vacation buyout for those approaching retirement and will have a negative impact on pension calculations.

When it became apparent that the City was going to have to make hard decisions regarding revisions to the 2020 budget, several members of the Executive Committee met with Chief Niski to discuss likely scenarios.  The Chief has continued to be very forthright with the Board of Directors, sharing what information he can.  He is aware that the Board stands in opposition to cuts in compensation, yet we have clearly indicated our willingness to work together to find a more amenable solution.

In the interim, there is reason to believe that the $37 million transferred to the City from the $125 million El Paso County received via the Cares Act, will mitigate much of this concern.  We also anticipate meeting with Mayor Suthers as well as City Council members in the coming weeks when April sales tax data is released.

We will keep you up to date as new information becomes available.

Jim Carson,

President, CSPPA Board of Directors