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Racine's new police chief will be one of the most well paid in Wisconsin
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RACINE POLICE

Racine's new police chief will be one of the most well paid in Wisconsin

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Maurice Robinson

Robinson

RACINE — Maurice Robinson, the new chief of the Racine Police Department, has reached a salary agreement with the city.

Robinson’s salary will make him one of the highest-paid police chiefs in Wisconsin.

Robinson’s salary was set at $143,416 with the standard health dental and vision benefits afforded to city employees. Kate Croteau, human resource director for the city, said Robinson also was offered sick time and four weeks of vacation, which she described as “consistent with professionals with his level of tenure.”

An additional benefit included a reimbursement up to $10,000 for specific moving-related expenses on the condition Robinson establishes residency within one year of his hire, Croteau said. The moving-related expenses includes rental trucks, moving services or short-term storage.

Robinson must still pass an extensive background check before taking the helm of the RPD. He is expected to start in the job next month.

Comparisons

How does that salary compare to other Wisconsin municipalities?

The City of Green Bay is hiring a new police chief. The job posting lists the salary range as $103,521 to $121,784, substantially below what Racine offered. The chief of police for Green Bay supervises 230 employees. In contrast, the RPD chief supervises about 180 officers. Green Bay’s population is about 25,000 people greater than Racine, although Racine has a slightly higher crime rate

  • .
  • The City of Wauwatosa, too, is in the process of hiring a new police chief. The starting salary range is advertised as being between $100,235 to $137,425. Wauwatosa’s population is about 48,000 people, a little more than half of Racine’s population.
  • When the City of Beloit hired a new police chief in 2020, the salary range was listed as $130,000 to $135,000.
  • When the Madison City Council advertised for a new police chief beginning in August 2020, it set the salary range at $130,255 to $175,844.
  • Kenosha, too, faced the issue of raising the police chief’s salary when it went through the same process in late 2019 and early 2020. At that time, the proposed salary range was $104,568 to $134,424, but the Kenosha Police and Fire Commission also agreed to consider increasing the bottom of the range before it promoted current chief Daniel Miskinis. In February, Miskinis announced he
would be retiring
  • at the end of April.
  • In 2019, the salary of then-Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales was
$152,256
  • .
  • Racine’s new city administrator, Paul Vornholt, hired in February, has a
salary of $147,097
  • .

In discussions, some Racine aldermen noted the salary was reflective of the challenges of the job, including the national upheaval that occurred after the May death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, the call for racial justice afterward and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pay challenge

In March, the Racine City Council passed a resolution, on a split vote, to increase the pay range of the new chief of police. The vote effectively increased the cap for the position from $136,490 to $146,681.

Two council members voted against the cap increase, in part because of the financial woes that have led to layoffs and benefit reductions for city employees.

However, Baker Tilly, the consulting firm which conducted the city’s search for a new chief along with the city’s salary consultant, recommended the increase to keep the city competitive in the hiring process.

When Baker Tilly conducted the search for a new police chief, the position was advertised with a potential salary between $140,000 and $145,000.

Experience and education

Robinson was hired by the Cincinnati Police Department in 2002, beginning as a patrol officer. Most recently, he was the city’s District 1 commander, supervising 100 employees.

Further, Robinson holds a master of science degree in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati. He also has attended the Senior Management Institute for Policing, an executive leadership forum.

The year Robinson joined the force, the Cincinnati Police Department entered into collaboration with other government agencies to commit to Problem-Oriented Policing, which is used in some countries in Europe as well as in New Zealand.

The Atlantic magazine described Problem-Oriented Policing as a strategy that requires officers “to do fewer out-and-out arrests, and instead focus on solving the problems that cause people to commit crimes in the first place,” a model strikingly similar to the Community-Oriented Policing Model already in place in Racine.

Robinson said he would continue to support COP in Racine and hoped to expand it.

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