The citizens of the City of Mobile once again have shown the men and women in blue tremendous support. Your actions spoke loud and clear that the police officers and firefighters who serve and protect this city are valued and we are sincerely grateful. The fundamental purpose of government, if not the sole legitimate purpose of government, is the safety of the public. Today, the city government demonstrated through its action in passing the budgeted pay adjustments to the first responders as a testament to their dedication to this fundamental purpose. First and foremost, I would like to thank Mayor Sandy Stimpson for his steadfast support for first responders and his dedication to making the City of Mobile the safest city in America. It is through his leadership that the City of Mobile has been able to provide competitive wages for first responders that have not been seen in decades. To the Mobile City Council, thank you for making the proposed pay raise high priority on the budget and voting in favor of it. Effective October 1, 2016, sworn employees will receive a $5,000 pay raise and 2.5% pay equity adjustment for every five years of service to a maximum of 20 years. Because of your decision, officers will wear their badge more proudly. And, efforts to recruit and retain employees will improve with the new competitive salary. We believe, together, we can help you keep moving Mobile forward by making it the safest city in America. Thank you, great citizens of Mobile for backing the blue. You demonstrated with your voice and actions that the officers who are assigned to keep your community safe deserved a raise. Because of you, police and firefighter salaries will be competitive when compared to other major cities in Alabama. I give my heartfelt congratulations to the men and women of the Mobile Police Department and the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department. As you all begin your next shift, I want you to shine your shoes, poke out your chest, and lift your chins and be proud that you are Mobile police officers and firefighters as I am very proud of all of you and honored to be your police chief.