Portland’s cops and firefighters are the highest paid in town: see how much every employee in town made in 2020
It can pay off to be a cop or a firefighter in Portland.
The city’s police and firefighters made more money in the 2020 calendar year than any other type of city employee, according to a recently updated database compiled by The Oregonian / OregonLive.
Police and firefighters included all but 10 of the 97 employees who earned more than $ 200,000 and each represented Portland’s 27 highest-paid workers, according to city payroll records.
Dangerous – and sometimes deadly – jobs can come with a lucrative perk: plenty of overtime opportunities, which many have earned in a year punctuated by protests, wildfires, the coronavirus pandemic and a dramatic increase in shootings and homicides throughout the city.
“The unprecedented events of 2020, made worse by a personnel crisis, contributed to unprecedented overtime by police station employees who would most likely have preferred to return home at the end of their regular shifts,” he said. Portland Police spokesperson Lt. Greg Pashley said in an email.
“The Portland Police Office tries to be a good steward of the public purse and maybe one day the staff will respond to the demand so that overtime becomes scarce or unnecessary.”
No city employee has made more money than Donald Russ, a deputy fire chief who retired late last year. In addition to a salary of $ 93,608, Russ received an additional $ 217,987 through a combination of overtime as well as vacation and sick days cashed, bringing his total compensation to $ 311,595.
That’s 35% more than the $ 202,634 earned by Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone, who was only the city’s 80th highest-paid employee in fiscal 2020.
Meanwhile, former Deputy Chief Andrew Shearer – who retired from office last August – was Portland’s highest-paid police officer.
Shearer’s annual transportation of $ 299,844 included approximately $ 171,000 in payments for unused sick leave and vacation. His total pay was almost $ 100,000 more than his boss, Chief Chuck Lovell, of which $ 199,824 placed him 99th overall on the list.
Many other city workers erased six digits. Wage data shows that nearly a third of the more than 8,000 people paid by the City of Portland last year earned at least $ 100,000.
What office managers also did varied considerably.
Adena Long, who runs Portland Parks & Recreation, was the highest-paid office manager in town (and 28th overall), earning $ 227,158. The office has 654 full-time employees and an annual operating budget of around $ 268 million, which does not include expensive construction projects.
Markisha Webster, director of the Office of Equity and Human Rights, earned the least among office managers (513rd overall) with just over $ 155,500. The 21-person office has an annual budget of $ 3.6 million.
As to why Mayor Ted Wheeler ranked only as the 6103rd highest paid municipal worker with $ 47,576? In April 2020, weeks after the pandemic forced the city and state to shut down, he suspended his salary for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Now in the first year of his second term, Wheeler is once again collecting his full annual paycheck of $ 143,655, said Tim Becker, spokesperson for the mayor.
– Shane Dixon Kavanaugh; 503-294-7632
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