Columbia, SC (WLTX)- Dozens of letters are flooding the Columbia Police Department and they are from their own officers.
Employees are walking out the door they say because there's no incentive to stay. The letters addressed to Chief Santiago said they can't afford to provide for their families.
According to the city, Columbia Police Officers will receive around a three percent increase starting January 1, 2014.
All city employees received a two percent salary increase in July, but officers said it's not enough.
Kevin Rinehart has been a Columbia Police Officer for four years. He is one of many officers who expressed frustration through letters and low pay at the Columbia Police Department.
The starting salary for an officer in the Columbia Police Department with a High School Diploma is around $32,000. For an officer with a Bachelor's Degree it is around $34,000.
Officers said people are leaving the force with experience after two years because they can get higher paying jobs with other departments.
"We just don't have those officers anymore," Rinehart said. "They don't exist."
In Rinehart's letter to CPD he said, "I can barely provide an adequate income for the three of us."
Columbia City Councilman Cameron Runyan said they need to make changes in the next budget and keep officers within CPD.
"We will have a cost savings just by keeping them and not losing millions of dollars in turnover," Runyan said.
The decision will be up to council members whether they want to put a new plain into place for CPD officers.