FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The City of Fresno announced Thursday that a new agreement had been reached with the Fresno Police Officers Association (FPOA) – described as a huge investment in the Fresno Police Department.

The new contract comes as the department struggles to retain officers. As of Friday, there are around 80 vacancies – representing approximately 10% of the total workforce. It will make Fresno’s police officers the highest-paid out of all the Central Valley police departments.

“I can guarantee you this contract was a fair compensation,” said Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer. “And again puts us at the top in terms of what we pay officers in the valley and I believe it’s going to remedy our retention and recruiting problems.”

The new contract will pay recruits around $800 more a month and mean more scheduling flexibility for a department that’s been pushed to the limit. Existing officers will also get an incremental raise.

“This is a huge accomplishment for our City,” said Council President Esparza, “as the fifth-largest city in the State of California, Fresno is competing with other metropolitan areas up and down the State.”

The union had rejected a previous offer from the city, branding it “insulting.” The new contract was approved by 96% of the FPOA.