CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte's police and firefighters are demanding better pay and benefits. They've addressed their concerns with Charlotte City Council.

They testified to the city council that their fellow officers are leaving Charlotte for better pay with other agencies.

Last year, they say they saw a net loss of 17 officers. Both agencies addressed city council ahead of budget negotiations that are really just starting. 

Officers say last year's raises were not enough. CMPD is already 180 officers short. Several have already left this year and 78 are due to retire in 2019. Back in 2018, we reported that the starting salary for an officer was "rougly $44,000." 

Officers say a residency incentive can't help those who can't afford to live in town. They are asking the council to reinstate retiree healthcare and pay time and a half for large, special events.

Meanwhile, Charlotte mayor Vi Lyles named February 11 after one of the city's longest serving firefighters, former interim chief Pete Key.