Majority of Abby police officers earned over $75,000 in 2014

Abbotsford Police Department has budget of $44 million

Majority of Abby police officers earned over $75,000 in 2014

Almost 200 people earned more than $100,000 working for the Abbotsford Police Department in 2014.

Each year, in mandated statements of financial information, municipalities, including the City of Abbotsford, release a list of all staff earning more than $75,000 in renumeration for the previous year. That does not include the police departments.

The News requested, through the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, a list of Abbotsford Police Department (APD) staff earning more than $75,000 in the 2014 calendar year. The News received a list of 238 staff members, though with the majority of their names redacted.

The APD has about 325 people on its payroll – including 212 police officers, with an additional 10 officers working at other organizations such as the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) – and 84 full-time, five part-time and 23 casual civilian employees, according to Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald.

In 2014, the highest earning staff member was Deputy Chief Const. Len Goerke, who earned $218,695. He left the force in June 2014 to become chief of  the West Vancouver Police Department. His departure from the APD was technically a retirement when he left and he received an end-of-term payout, which boosted his total annual income.

His remuneration was followed by Chief Bob Rich (in photo), who earned $200,684. An unnamed detective was third on the list, followed by two deputy chief constables.

According to the APD website, a first-year (or fifth-class) constable earns a salary of $59,907 annually, or $28.80 hourly. After three years, a constable becomes reaches first-class grade, and will earn $92,165 annually ($44.31 hourly). That is an increase of 54 per cent over the first three years.

Comparatively, the Toronto police pays cadets-in-training $58,220, rising to $92,433 by the time they become first-class constables.

The RCMP website states that the entry salary for a constable is $50,647. That salary rises incrementally over 36 months of service to $82,108 – an increase of 62 per cent.

MacDonald said staff on the list making more than the $92,000 first-class constable rate is due to raises for seniority or promotions to roles such as sergeant. The highest-earning constable on the list made $162,121 in 2014 and was ninth-highest overall.

Most officers made additional wages due to overtime, as well as retroactive pay in 2014 due to a union settlement.

“Our contract expired in 2012 and when our new contract was signed in late 2014, there were retro adjustments made,” said MacDonald.

He said overtime for officers can vary based on a variety of factors. If an officer agrees to cover a shift for someone else, he or she would likely just be paid the same salary.

If there is a significant incident and the officers are held over because they are still processing a crime scene, or dealing with an accused, they go into an overtime scenario where “the first two hours of overtime are paid at time-and-a-half and any additional overtime after that is double time.”

If there is a necessity to call officers in on days off, they are paid double time.

MacDonald said in the past when an officer had to testify in court, it would frequently be on a day off. Now the police department works closely with the courts to try to ensure officers are on shift when they need to be in court, to reduce costs.

“It takes a fair amount of juggling, when you think about it,” said MacDonald. He added that unless there are extenuating circumstances such as an ongoing crime investigation or going to court, officers must take an eight-hour break between shifts.

Ninety per cent of the APD’s budget goes to staff-related expenses, according to its 2014 budget presentation. The police department’s 2014 operating budget was about $44.4 million.

At the City of Abbotsford, 234 staff earned more than $75,000, while 140 earned $100,000 or more. Of those earning more than $100,000, almost 53 per cent were firefighters. The city has about 800 employees.

Overtime, retroactive pay drive up salaries: report

Contractual increases, overtime and retroactive pay are driving the increase in city salaries, according to a report recently brought to council.

The city’s 2014 draft financial statements, which are required to report all employees paid more than $75,000 in a year, were presented in April.

Those documents showed that the number of staff earning more than $75,000 rose from 231 in 2013 to 234 in 2014. However, the number of staff earning more than $100,000 rose from 114 to 140 in the same period, up almost 23 per cent.

Following that report, council directed staff to report on what was driving the escalating wages, back pay and overtime.

That report showed that in 2014, there was a pay increase of 1.75 per cent for CUPE union members, 2.5 per cent for the firefighters’ union (IAFF) and a 1.75 per cent cost-of-living adjustment for exempt city employees.

There was also a 14 per cent increase in overtime incurred by CUPE staff from 2013 to 2014, while overtime paid to firefighters decreased 2.6 per cent. According to the report, that is expected to continue to decrease as the city hired more flex firefighters.

Without overtime, retroactive payments or retirements, only 202 people would have earned more than $75,000, instead of 234, according to the report.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld has called for the resignation of B.C.’s Minister of Education, Jennifer Whiteside. He made the call during a speech in Vancouver on April 10, 2021, in a rally for a parent embroiled in legal battles surrounding his child’s transition.
Chilliwack school trustee calls for B.C.’s minister of education to resign

Barry Neufeld spoke at rally for jailed father in Vancouver, calling SOGI 123 a ‘dangerous experiment’

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

Photo courtesy of Abbotsford Police Department.
‘Vehicle Maintenance 101 for Teens’ to be hosted by Abbotsford Police traffic officers

Virtual meetups with Q&A period held on April 23, May 11, May 25

Stock photo from Unsplash.com
Free online workshops on ‘advance care planning’ hosted in Abbotsford

3 sessions hosted by Abbotsford Hospice Society and Association for Healthy Aging

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read