“It is not our goal to be a political animal. But we understand that this last administration essentially woke a sleeping giant.” Jon Carda is a board member with the Sioux Falls Fraternal Order of Police, the organization that represents more than 200 police officers and sergeants within the Sioux Falls Police Department. “It had everything to do with what happened prior to this in our prior contract negotiations that involved the outgoing city administration. The mayor.”
In our interview Carda never mentioned Mike Huether by name but did, repeatedly, make it clear that he blames the outgoing mayor for what he says is the big problem the Sioux Falls Police Department now faces. “He put public safety behind other things he felt was important. We’ve been placed in a negative position always struggling to play catch up.”
To understand the problem the FOP says exists you need to understand how the city of Sioux Falls determines what to pay police officers.
For years the city has been part of a workplace study comparing salaries with a handful of cities across America.
Carda says Sioux Falls has settled on a 50% formula for paying police officers; essentially finding the middle range between the lowest and highest paying cities in this study.
But even with that formula in place Carda says Sioux Falls is paying officers at least 5% less than that average which places Sioux Falls Police at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to recruiting officers. “It is a competitive race to attract the best and the…