San Francisco police are among the highest paid officers statewide, according to a recent survey. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

San Francisco police are among the highest paid officers statewide, according to a recent survey. (Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

SF police paid a pretty penny

San Francisco is one of the nation’s most expensive places to live so its a good thing its police get paid so well, even if only 27 percent of them live in The City.

San Francisco’s finest are the highest paid big city force in the state, according to a recent San Francisco salary survey.

Of 1,865 officers surveyed, the minimum monthly salary was $6,782 a month/$81,384 a year — and the maximum was $9,440 a month/$113,280 a year.

“I believe the pay is completely appropriate considering the cost of living in the Bay Area,” said Gary Delagnes, a San Francisco Police Officers Association consultant. “Even with our salary the average cop does not make enough to qualify for a home loan in San Francisco.”

In contrast, the members of the state’s largest police force, Los Angeles’ 4,210-person police department, get paid on average a minimum of $5,201 a month and a maximum of $7,976 a month.

The current contract in The City, signed in 2013, contains reduced pay for new recruits, a multiyear 5 percent pay raise and continued ability to cash out sick time.

The agreement expires June 30, 2018, and covers 2,502 positions valued at $415.1 million in salaries and benefits.

A City Controller’s Office analysis of the agreement estimated that with 10 percent entry-level pay reductions there would be $22 million in savings. The previous contract gave entry-level officers a salary of $88,842. The current contract pays them $80,582. The contract also set aside $32.4 million in raises in its final three years, with a 1 percent pay hike to be followed by 2 percent pay raises in each of the final two years.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 there were 638,810 police officers and sheriff deputies on patrol duty in the country. The average pay for this group was just shy of $60,000 a year.

Chief Greg Suhr is the nation’s highest paid chief at a major department. In 2014 his salary was $307,450 and he received total compensation of $326,716.

The officer who got the most compensation in 2014 was Inspector Robert Velarde who was paid a total of $277,581 and receives a salary of $119,407.

In comparison, Martin Halloran, the POA’s president and an inspector, received $145,210 in total compensation in 2014.

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