LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Police Chief Don Dixon says Lake Charles police officers need bigger raises than the ones that the City Council approved last week for all employees.

Dixon tells the American Press () that officers are leaving his department for better-paying jobs.

The City Council on Wednesday approved a 2 percent longevity raise, as well as a 2 percent across-the-board increase, for all city workers.

First-year city police officers will make $15.17 an hour, as well as $200 in supplemental pay from the city. After the first year, the $200 is replaced by a $500 supplement from the state.

Officials are trying to recruit new officers to fill nine vacancies. If the department can reach its full 189-employee complement, it will be able to hire seven more grant-funded positions.