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Spokane police, firefighter pay outpace region’s average wage

As budget discussions ramp up at the city of Spokane, a conservative think tank has released a study suggesting that pay for Spokane’s police and firefighters has not only outpaced the region’s average wages but is better than what their peers in larger Northwest cities are earning.

Among the highlights in the Seattle-based Washington Policy Center study: The average firefighter and police officer salary in Spokane is 87 percent higher than the median household income in Spokane; police and fire union dues total about $750,000 annually; and police and fire employees on average are compensated better than their peers in Portland.

Though the numbers could be read as an indictment, the study’s co-author said the study wasn’t meant to sway people but rather inform them.

“People can see what the numbers are and decide if they’re too low, too high or just about right,” said Chris Cargill, the center’s Eastern Washington director. “People make good policy decisions when they know the numbers.” Read more. Nicholas Deshais, SR

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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