Survey: PPD speaks out on pay, benefits and ‘toxic’ City Hall

The results are in on Mayor Grover Robinson’s initial survey of city employees.

Employees were asked:

1. Our City of Pensacola government does many things well. What are 1-3 things that you feel we do exceptionally well?

2. In every city government there are opportunities for improvement.What are 1-3 opportunities you believe our city government has for improvement?

3. As mayor, one of my priorities is to make sure I effectively communicate with all city employees. As I begin serving in this capacity what questions do you have for me?

4. If you were in my position as the newly-elected mayor of Pensacola in 2018, what do you believe are the most important things for me to focus on in the first 180 days?

Employees were allowed to reply anonymously but were asked to state in which department they worked. Not all employees listed their departments, but 58 of the 273 responses were from the Pensacola Police Department——21 percent.

Several police officers were concerned about pay and health insurance. One PPD employee wrote, “Health insurance for single coverage is great. Family coverage is expensive. Rates for retirees are ridiculous.”

Another wrote, “In the police department, our employees, especially civilians, are not paid a competitive wage. When we try to hire or promote employees, we are often met with roadblocks from HR who often seems to try and get the most out of people for the least amount of money.”

He added, “It is difficult to hire quality workers at most of the current salaries. There does not seem to be a “let’s take care of our employees” attitude from the Human Resources department

Police vehicles and training were seen as areas needed for improvement. It was stated that officers are driving vehicles on everyday patrol that are 8-10 years old.

“These vehicles are often driven in stressful conditions and pushing an 8 year old car to its limit is not safe,” wrote an officer. “Our LOST allocation has not changed in over a decade even though sots of vehicles has increased, especially with the new equipment we have to build into the car such as in-car cameras and body cameras, computers, etc.”

Chief Human Resource Officer Ed Sisson came under fire from the Pensacola Police Department respondents. It was asserted that Sisson has brought a split between the police and the city. One officer described the climate at City Hall as “toxic.”

He wrote, “Human Resources has really done a lot to damage morale among the police department. Please take a special interest in overseeing their actions. Everyone else at City Hall is always wonderful. It just seems Human Resources would rather think about how to hurt people rather than what they can do to help the city and its employees.”