We Protect, Serve
As members of FOP Lodge 33, we’re proud of what we do every day in service to the City and citizens of Cape Coral. Through good times and bad, we have always done everything in our power to make sure our community was safe, secure and stable. Our dedication and resilience were put to the test back in 2009 when we all endured the Great Recession and the financial challenges it posed to maintaining our quality of life.
To alleviate the economic burden on the City of Cape Coral in challenging economic times, officers of the Cape Coral Police Department—including members of FOP Lodge 33—voluntarily surrendered pay and benefits. For many of us, it meant paying for health insurance and medical services for ourselves and our families out of our pockets. It meant unpaid vacation time to be with our spouses and kids—or no time off at all. It meant meaningful sacrifice to our own well-being. But in spite of all those challenges, we never flinched from our responsibilities and volunteer efforts, like coaching, counseling and mentoring our children through sports, fundraising programs and other activities.
Our jobs are tough—and we absolutely feel privileged to do them. But they can take a toll over the long run. Similar to military veterans, police officers have systemic problems with suicides and mental health issues, like chronic depression and PTSD. Naturally, back in 2009 when we pitched in to help the City, we thought the City would return the favor in kind when things improved. It’s now 2019, and compensation for veteran officers has still not been readjusted to address the sacrifices of the past.
Entry-level pay and benefits have been inflated to levels that rival those of five-year veterans in order to attract new hires, but veteran compensation has never been readjusted in parallel fashion. Five-year veterans, once immune from mandated late shifts, are now working night beats over worries that inexperienced rookies are incapable of handling them. Concessions made to bulk up the police presence, as well as the City’s resistance to remunerate under-compensated police officers place an unjust burden on our highly-respected police officers who only want their pay and benefits packages fairly adjusted to reflect seniority levels that have always been recognized in the Cape Coral Police Department.
It’s a frustrating situation for us to champion on our own. That’s why we need your support. Spread the word to your friends and neighbors: Fair compensation ends frustration.
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