Officer's wife: First-responders deserve raise before council - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

APD officer's wife: First responders deserve raise before council members

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Kelly Uhlis, the wife of an APD officer, said she is upset about the Atlanta City Council's vote to give itself a 50 percent pay raise. Kelly Uhlis, the wife of an APD officer, said she is upset about the Atlanta City Council's vote to give itself a 50 percent pay raise.
ATLANTA -

The wife of an Atlanta police officer is speaking out about the Atlanta City Council's vote to give itself a 50 percent pay raise. She says first responders should receive a raise first.

This past September, Kelly Uhlis received the "Citizen of the Year" award from both the Atlanta Police Department and the Atlanta Police Foundation. Her husband, Sgt. Tommy Uhlis, is a 12-year police veteran. She started two support groups for law enforcement officers and their families.

When Atlanta City Council members voted 10-4 on Monday to give themselves a $20,000 per year salary increase, Uhlis was outraged.

"The fact that at this point and time, the City Council would rather put money into their own pocket than give it to these first responders who actually deserve it is mind-blowing," said Uhlis.

Uhlis says her husband's pay was frozen by the same city council members who gave themselves a raise. And when APD officers did get a cost of living increase, medical costs skyrocketed, negating the extra money.

"Their insurance went up. So, basically, they're bringing home less than they did before. And yet, their work is much harder," said Uhlis.

Kelly thinks the more than $1 million the council raises will cost the city over four years should go to its first responders. She says, like many Atlanta police officers, her husband sometimes has to work an extra six to eight hours a day just to support his young family.

"And when you hear of City Council getting a 50 percent raise -- they work part-time. It makes absolutely no sense," Uhlis said.

So Kelly wants Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who says he will not accept a raise for himself while in office, to use his veto power.

"I'm challenging the mayor to say across the board ‘not right now.' Definitely not 50 percent. That's my challenge to him," she said.

Mayor Reed's office gave All News 106.7's Trey Thomas a statement that said, in part, "...while the Mayor thinks members of Council deserve higher compensation, he has concerns about the timing. As such, he is reserving judgment about the ordinance until he has time to fully review it."

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