Honolulu police union defends pay differential

HONOLULU (AP) - The president of the union representing Hawaii's police officers is defending a pay differential increase.

Officers are given a standard of conduct differential for being expected to carry a firearm 24 hours a day. That differential will increase from $1 an hour to $4 an hour over four years as part of a new contract. The agreement also gives officers a 16.8% raise over four years.

State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers President Tenari Maafala told city councilmembers Wednesday the differential is provided because officers must confront danger even when they're off-duty.

The city says the differential pay will add $43 million, bringing the contract package to about $200 million.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports Maafala recounted shooting and killing a suspect in 1998 while off-duty.

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