CSUN police pay below industry standards


Campus police make far less than their counterparts in other community police departments, discrepancies of as much as $40,000, according to data in documents from CSUN and other universities.

According to CSUN budget records for 2005-2006, while some officers make around $78,000 a year, the minimum salary for officers is about $46,000 a year before bonuses and overtime. In comparison, an entry-level Los Angeles Police Department officer could expect a salary of about $54,000 a year, excluding any bonuses such as overtime, according to an LAPD recruitment officer. Similarly, an entry-level University of California Los Angeles officer could expect their salary to be about $52,000 a year, excluding any bonuses such as overtime, according to the UCLA Web site.

Chief of Campus Police Anne Glavin said historically the UC system and community police departments make more than the CSU system. She said it is often hard to compete with the LAPD and other community police departments because they require the same certifications, which are dictated by the state, but offer higher wages and signing bonuses. Because of this, the turn over rate for CSU police is very high, she said.

“They’re doing the same thing,” she said “It’s just a different jurisdiction, a different set of ground with different employers.”

CSUN sergeant’s base pay is also less than their LAPD and UCLA counterparts. The base pay for sergeants in the CSU system is $55,620 before overtime and bonuses. An LAPD sergeant’s minimum salary is about $67,000 a year, excluding extra payments for things like a bachelor’s degree or being bilingual, and a UCLA sergeant’s minimum salary is about $74,000 a year, excluding extra payments.

While the CSUN sergeant’s maximum salary is about $76,500, several received more than $110,000, in some cases reaching more than $118,000 during the 2005-2006 budget year, more than $50,000 more than the maximum base pay. The difference is because of the amount of overtime some sergeants put in, said Sgt. James Stotler, the campus police’s representative for the Statewide University Police Association, which represents all of the CSU system’s police.

Higher-ranking officers at CSUN, such as lieutenants, captains, and the chief, also make less than their LAPD and UCLA counterparts, yielding possible discrepancies of more than $40,000 a year in some cases.

This is because the high-level officers, who are considered management, are not a part of the union, Stotler said. Unlike officers and sergeants, he said, their pay is determined by the university.

“If the university determines they’re worth more, then they can pay them more but the university makes that decision,” Stotler said.

The pay for high-level officers is lower due to officers in the union having things like retirement, about $10,000 a year, paid for them, Stotler said. Many good officers don’t apply for anything higher than a sergeant because of the overall loss in pay, he said, but the union would support an increase in pay for management.

“What’s good for them is good for us,” he said. “We get better management.”

Every three years the Statewide University Police Association negotiates with the CSU system for pay, benefits, and conditions of employment, Glavin said. The pay raises that are negotiated are usually by percent for each of the three years. Glavin said she did have control over how much officers are hired at, which depends on their experience and rank. Depending on these two qualifiers, different officers can be paid very different salaries.

“It’s not just what we at CSUN pay the police, we’re part of a big system. I have no say in the contractual amount,” said Glavin. “There is no one rate that all my people make.”

The Statewide University Police Association recently completed new negotiations with the CSU system and got the police a “good bump in pay,” Glavin said.

“Did it fix the problem? No,” she said. “But it’s much better than it was.”