After seven years without an across-the-board raise, New Orleans police officers should be accorded a 20 percent pay hike phased in over three years, according to a staff recommendation to the Civil Service Commission.

But New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux sees a major flaw in the staff analysis — a failure to factor in pension costs.

The staff report, seven months in the making, responds to a February request by the Police Association of New Orleans. The association claimed that with pay schedules frozen since 2007, morale is way down and the NOPD is losing officers to other police departments.

Both the Civil Service Commission and the City Council would have to approve changes in the police pay plan.

This story originally appeared in The Lens, an independent, nonprofit newsroom serving New Orleans. Continue reading full story here.