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A single exam next month could put dozens of police officers in Hawaii on the path to a significant pay raise, if they move to Seattle.

On Feb. 27, the Seattle department will offer “lateral” exams in Honolulu for new applicants and veteran officers.

The timing is not good for the Honolulu Police Department. At the end of 2018, the HPD had 246 vacancies.

“Anytime we lose someone, it’s a setback,” Assistant Chief John McCarthy told Honolulu Civil Beat.

Seattle is coming armed with much better salaries and more frequent raises. Starting salary for a police officer in Honolulu is $65,592 per year versus $81,444 for a newly sworn officer in Seattle. For veteran officers, the pay gap is even larger.

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