Housing Incentives Included in New Sacramento PD City Contract

SACRAMENTO -- Who wouldn't want a $5,000 discount when buying a house?

That's part of a package of increased salary and other benefits in the first negotiated contract Sacramento police have had with their city since 2005 -- $5,000 if you buy a house and actually live in Sacramento.

"Hopefully this will stem the exodus of officers. The city is just wasting money right now. It costs them about $250,000 to train a new officer," said Tim Davis,  president of the Sacramento Police Officers Association.

With about 50 officers leaving the department each year,  that's $12.5 million worth of investment disappearing from the Capital City as those behind the badge find better pay packages in neighboring towns.

The housing bonus is a perk on top of a pay increase that won't make city cops the best paid in the region, but boosts patrolmen to just 3 percent below the market average of $96,000 a year.

Before they were 22 percent below.

Work on the contract started in March, with both sides signing off on the final product in July.

City council members are expected to vote the deal in next week.

With bad blood between the police union and Sacramento's old city manager gone with his departure, the rank and file feel this agreement shows a new level of respect.

"Yes, yes and it also shows to the city that we respect them too. It's a two-way street," said Davis.

For 10 years, Marcie Pompei has lived in Oak Park -- the old neighborhood of the city's new police chief.

"It's just wonderful here. Every church has food, the food bank, the community center has lots of stuff, free classes to take," she said with a smile.

Housing is a touchy subject for her.

She just got a 60 day move out notice from her landlord who hopes to sell to some of those now gentrifying what's been a historically poor, crime-ridden area.

But, when it comes to cops possibly moving into town thanks to the bonuses, she said, "that would be good."

More than 700 police department employees are represented by the Sacramento Police Officers Association, but only about 100 of them call the city home right now.

To her changing those numbers with some new law enforcement faces in her neighborhood could make a challenged area on the upswing even better.

"So they know more of the area, what's going on," she said.