Sworn PPM: Compensation and Salary

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Policy and Procedure # 1: Compensation

It is the goal of the City of Colorado Springs to provide an internally equitable and externally competitive compensation plan in order to attract and retain qualified employees.

Civil Service Classifications

Salaries for Civil Service classifications shall be published annually in the City's Salary Schedule and posted in the internet.

  • Standard Progression
    Unless hired under the lateral entry program, an employee will progress from Police or Fire Trainee, step 1 upon successful completion of the Training Academy. Such employee will progress from Firefighter or Police Officer 4th class, step 1 to step 2 upon successful completion of the initial evaluation period in accordance with the Rules of the Civil Service Commission. The standard interval for progression to steps 3 and 4 of each rank is 12 months of satisfactory service at the prior step. Pay raises commensurate with the published schedule for the standard progression will occur timely, assuming satisfactory performance and budget availability.

Employees hired as laterals, will receive a pay raise when they finish one year of service from the date of hire and then each 12 months until they reach Officer 1st class or firefighter, assuming satisfactory performance and budget availability.

  • Accelerated Progression
    An employee demonstrating accelerated job qualifications and proficiencies (as defined by the department), upon approval of the Chief/Deputy Chief, may progress to Officer step 3 and Officer step 4, or Firefighter step 3 and Firefighter step 4, between 6 and 12 months. Related accelerated compensation increases may not be retroactive and are contingent upon the availability of Department salary funds.
  • Extension and interruption of Probation
    The probation period for a newly hired or newly promoted employee may be extended in accordance with the Rules of the Civil Service Commission.

Loss of License or Certification

An employee shall immediately report the loss of a mandatory license or certification to his or her immediate supervisor and cease to function under the authority of such license or certification.  The supervisor shall immediately report the loss of a mandatory license or certification by an employee through the chain of command, Human Resources (FD/PD), and Risk Management.  The Chief will review the circumstances on a case by case basis and decide the appropriate action, which may include reassignment, separation, or the opportunity for the employee to obtain reinstatement of the license or certification within a period not to exceed 180 days.

Pay upon Promotion or Demotion

Pay upon promotion or demotion shall be determined by the salary for the new classification as published in the City's Salary Schedule.

Paramedic Pro-Pay

Lieutenants and Captains who hold Paramedic certifications are eligible for pro-pay consideration, a voluntary program designed to enhance Paramedic coverage within the Fire Department.  Approval to participate in the program will be determined by the Fire Medical Division.  Paramedic Pro-Pay shall continue until the individual removes him/herself from consideration, is no longer qualified due to rank, loss of required certifications, placement on a performance improvement plan, or lack of pro-pay funding.

Exempt/Non-Exempt Classification

An employee occupying a position allocated to an exempt classification is considered an exempt employee and does not adhere to a strict FLSA workweek. An employee occupying a position in other than an exempt classification is considered a non-exempt employee.

Policy and Procedure # 2: Work Schedule

The normal work year for 40-hour shift Police and Fire personnel consists of 2080 hours divided into work periods varying in length from 7 to 28 days. The normal workday consists of 8 - 10 consecutive hours in any 24-hour period.

The normal work year for 24-hour Fire personnel consists of an average of 2912 hours divided into 9 day work periods. The normal workday consists of 24 consecutive hours.

The normal work year for non-shift police and fire personnel consists of 2080 hours divided into 52 forty-hour weeks.

Employees may be required to work more than the normal work year, work period, or workday to meet operational requirements.

FLSA Work Period

The Chief shall establish the work periods based on operational requirements. Any changes in work period shall comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and shall be announced in writing 30 days in advance of implementation.

Meal Periods and Breaks

All non-exempt Sworn personnel receive paid meal periods and breaks, unless assignment permits an unpaid meal period.

Accommodations for Nursing Mothers

A private area, other than a bathroom, free from intrusion and shielded from view will be provided, and reasonable time will be permitted for employees to express milk during the workday for up to two years following the birth of a child.  The time permitted will typically run concurrently with the time already provided for meal periods and breaks.  If the meal periods and breaks cannot run concurrently and/or additional time is needed, the employee’s supervisor and the employee will agree upon an appropriate schedule.  The City will make a reasonable effort to identify a location within close proximity to the work area for the employee to express milk.

Last revised: 9/18

Policy and Procedure # 3: Overtime

All employees may be required to work in excess of the normal work schedule. Supervisors are encouraged to minimize those occasions that place employees in a situation where they are required to work extensive consecutive hours of overtime. Compensation for overtime shall comply with all federal, state and/or local rules and regulations.  Any unwritten policies or practices that are inconsistent with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are expressly rescinded.


  • Hours Paid includes all hours designated on the time record as paid time under a policy included in this policy manual. Hours Paid therefore includes hours taken as vacation, sick, holiday, funeral leave, jury leave, compensatory time off and other leaves identified under Policy #15 as Leaves of Absence (Paid).
  • Hours Worked includes all hours actually worked. Hours worked does not include hours taken as vacation, sick, holiday, funeral leave, jury leave, performance award time off, compensatory time, paid leave used for work absence due to sick purposes when sick leave is exhausted, other paid leave or unpaid leaves of absence.
  • Fire Mandatory Overtime Hours are the regularly scheduled 4 hours (from 68 to 72 hours) worked during a 9-day work period by sworn fire personnel.

Normal Work Schedules

  • Fire sworn - 24-hour shifts for a total of 72 hours during a 9-day work period.
  • Police sworn - 40 hours per week for a total of 160 hours during a 28-day work period.

Rates of Pay

Non-exempt employees will be compensated at the appropriate overtime rate for Hours Worked in excess of the Normal Work Schedule. Overtime can be paid at the regular hourly rate of pay or 1½ times the regular rate of pay depending on hours worked during the work period.

Fire Mandatory Overtime Hours are compensated at half the hourly rate and the pay is not reduced by paid leave usage.

Time worked for special events may never be paid at 2 times the regular rate, regardless of when the work occurs during the employee's Work Schedule.  An employee may not adjust their Normal Work Schedule to accommodate working a special event unless approved by a supervisor.

Overtime Calculation Period

Although Police sworn personnel work a 28-day work period, the review period for overtime calculation and eligibility occurs every two weeks (80 hours).

Fire personnel work a 9-day work period, and overtime is calculated following completion of the work period.

Overtime Approval

All overtime hours must be approved in advance by the immediate supervisor or designated authority, except hirebacks and other activities identified by the Chief, as approved overtime.

Scheduled Overtime Compensation

If Scheduled Overtime does not begin immediately prior to or after the employee's Normal Work Schedule, the employee will be compensated for a minimum of two hours at the appropriate rate.  If scheduled overtime is canceled prior to the employee reporting to work, the employee will not be compensated.

Court Time Compensation

Court Time includes scheduled court appearances for sworn Police and Fire personnel in connection with job assignment. Unless expressly governed by approved department policy, Court Time that falls outside the employee's Normal Work Schedule will be compensated at 1 ½ times the regular hourly rate for actual hours spent at court above Hours Paid during the Normal Work Schedule or the appropriate Overtime Calculation Period.

Grant Time

Grant Time includes hours worked by sworn Police personnel that are compensated through grants. Grant Time is paid at the appropriate overtime rate when Grant Time hours exceed Hours Worked during the employee's Normal Work Schedule or appropriate Overtime Calculation Period.

Extra Duty Time

  • Extra Duty Time for the City (Extra Duty Overtime) includes time worked for the City in response to internal requests from various Departments. Extra Duty Time for the City is paid at 1½ times the regular hourly rate and is not included in Hours Worked.
  • Extra Duty Time for private employers (Extra Duty) is time charged to outside agencies that want to hire extra duty Police Officers. The fee for this Extra Duty Time is set by the Mayor annually. Extra Duty Time for private employers is not included in Hours Worked.


An employee who elects to work additional hours as a Hireback will be compensated at the appropriate overtime rate for the Hours Worked in excess of the relevant Work Schedule. Overtime commences after Hours Worked exceeds the time designated as the Normal Work Schedule above, which includes Mandatory Overtime Hours.

Overtime While Traveling

A non-exempt employee who is required to travel to a temporary job site or a directed training site will be compensated in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Overtime Distribution

Management shall use their best efforts to distribute the opportunity to work overtime among qualified employees within the operational requirements of the department and the work that needs to be performed.

Release from Duty

A non-exempt employee's Normal Work Schedule shall not be reduced without prior notice for the sole purpose of avoiding overtime compensation for hours that have been worked. The immediate supervisor may notify the employee in advance of the employee working hours that will result in overtime that the employee’s Normal Work Schedule may be changed in order to avoid the potential overtime situation.

Overtime Refusal

An employee who is required to work overtime and refuses is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Compensation for Routine Care, Cleaning and Maintenance of Firearms, Ballistic Vest and Uniforms

Overtime or compensatory time as compensation to Police for routine care, cleaning, and maintenance of firearms, ballistic vest, and uniforms will be provided as follows:

  • 30 minutes per pay period may be requested without prior supervisory approval;
  • Officers and Sergeants must record and submit their timesheet in the time management system;
  • Officers and Sergeants must actually work at least 40 hours in a 14-day pay period to be entitled to any overtime or compensation time for these tasks.
  • Officers and Sergeants must be eligible for overtime in the pay period to receive overtime pay or comp time.

Fire personnel have access to washer and dryer facilities at all fire stations and are expected to use these while on shift for uniform maintenance and so will not be compensated for uniform maintenance performed on personal time.

On Duty Time for Cleaning and Maintenance of Leather Gear

If an Officer or Sergeant chooses to wear a leather belt with leather attachments and/or leather footwear, the Officer or Sergeant shall be given a reasonable amount of time on duty to clean and maintain these items with supervisor approval and the Officer or Sergeant will not complete these tasks outside the Normal Work Schedule.

Release From Work

For employees who have worked extensive overtime, the immediate manager/supervisor may send an employee home or direct the employee to report to work late when, in the manager/supervisor's sole judgment, the employee's lack of adequate rest poses safety risks to the employee or co-workers.  When an employee is released from work pursuant to this policy, scheduled Normal Work Hours not worked by the employee shall be paid at the regular hourly rate of pay.

Policy and Procedure # 4: Compensatory Time Off

A non-exempt sworn Police employee who is eligible for overtime compensation, upon approval of the immediate supervisor, may elect to accrue compensatory time off in lieu of payment for overtime. All compensatory time must be recorded. Compensatory time off shall accrue at the appropriate overtime rate. Use of compensatory time off must be approved in advance by the immediate supervisor.

Sworn Fire employees are not eligible for compensatory time off.

Maximum Balance

The maximum balance shall not exceed 80 hours. Overtime hours worked in excess of that amount shall be paid at the appropriate overtime rate.  The City reserves the right to direct an employee to take accrued compensatory time off.  There is no annual payout requirement, but the City may offer annual payout on a voluntary basis.

Payment Upon Separation

Non-exempt employees, separating from employment with the City of Colorado Springs, will be paid for all accrued compensatory time. Compensatory time off is banked at the appropriate overtime rate, therefore payment will be at the base hourly rate.

Policy and Procedure # 5: Acting and Longevity Pay

Acting pay is additional compensation for temporary assignment of more than one full shift to a position of increased responsibility requiring supervision of employees or of an operation.

Rates of Pay

Acting pay may be authorized up to 10 percent of the assigned non-exempt employee's base salary for periods of one or more workdays. For exempt employees, acting pay is 10 percent of the employee's base hourly salary for periods of four consecutive weeks or more. A Lieutenant acting as Captain will be eligible for acting pay after four consecutive weeks in assignment. Fire Department employees working in the capacity of acting lieutenant, or relief driver in excess of 4 hours receive acting pay. When combined with the employee's base hourly pay acting pay may not exceed the salary of the next promoted rank.

Acting pay for an employee assigned to a classification in pay bands 1 or 2 shall be determined by the Chief.

Longevity Pay

An employee shall receive longevity pay of $20 per month beginning with the sixth year of continuous Civil Service employment. This longevity pay shall increase at a rate of $4 per month at the beginning of each subsequent year of employment until a maximum of $100 per month is reached. The calculation for payment under the City’s biweekly payroll policy is illustrated in the following table.

# Years

Monthly Longevity

Biweekly Calculation
































































Policy and Procedure # 6: Shift Differential

Certain functions of the City of Colorado Springs require 7 day, 24 hours/week operations. Employees who staff those functions may be eligible for some or all of the following shift differentials in addition to their base hourly rate. The shift differential shall be paid for actual hours worked on the scheduled shift. The rate shall be determined by the established rate for the designated shift on which the hours were worked.

Designated shifts shall be determined by the preponderance of the scheduled hours in the following time periods:

  • Shift 1 - 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Shift 2 - 4:00 p.m. - Midnight
  • Shift 3 - Midnight - 8:00 a.m.

The higher rate will apply when the scheduled hours worked are evenly split between 2 of the above shifts. Shift differential rates are recommended by the Mayor and approved in the annual budget by City Council.

An employee filling in for an absent shift worker or temporarily assigned to Shift 2 or Shift 3 will not qualify for shift differential arising from the temporary shift for changes lasting less than a full pay period.

Trading Shifts

Fire Department employees may trade shifts in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and written, approved department policy.

Policy and Procedure # 7: Standby Status


Operational necessity of the City may require that an employee be on standby awaiting a call out for return to work.

All standby duty must be authorized by a supervisor and the affected employee must be notified of the standby period. Whenever operationally expedient, a standby schedule shall be available in the respective department. An employee who is placed on standby must be available for contact by pager or telephone. During the standby period, the employee is able to engage in non-work related activities except for activities that would render them incapable of responding to the call out.

Upon call out, the employee is expected to be capable of performing assigned duties and is to respond in accordance with department/division instructions. Call out may require, but is not limited to, a return to the work site, teleworking, or providing assistance via the telephone.  An employee who is placed on standby and is not available for call out, or is incapable of performing their assigned duties may be subject to disciplinary action.

Rate of Pay While on Standby

  • Non-exempt: For each 7-day period a non-exempt employee is assigned to standby status, the employee may elect to either be paid for 3 hours of additional pay at the employee’s base hourly rate or accrue 3 hours of compensatory time off.  For a single day a non-exempt employee is assigned to standby status, the employee may elect to either be paid for 1/2 hour of additional pay at the employee’s base hourly rate or accrue 1/2 hour of compensatory time off.
  • Exempt: Exempt employees, except as authorized in writing by the Chief with approval from Human Resources, will not be compensated for standby hours.

Rate of Pay When Called-Out from Standby

  • Non-exempt: A non-exempt employee shall be compensated for hours worked, including one-hour round trip travel time, at the appropriate overtime rate. Standby compensation is interrupted by call-out.
  • Exempt: An exempt employee who is authorized for standby pay shall continue to receive standby pay, unless the employee is also authorized overtime pay.

Policy and Procedure # 8: Emergency Call-out

All employees are subject to emergency call-out without prior notice. Contrary to standby, emergency call-out is not scheduled and assigned, but may become operationally necessary. An employee is not expected to curtail activities and is not eligible for additional compensation prior to the emergency call-out. When such an emergency call-out requires a non-exempt employee to make an additional round-trip to a work site, one hour of pay at the appropriate overtime rate shall be paid.

An employee shall be required to ensure that the immediate supervisor has a working telephone number by which the employee may be contacted during an emergency.


An employee who refuses to respond to such call-out without good cause may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.