Rosemont hikes pay for off-duty cops to work security at entertainment venues

Rosemont is hiking the pay for private security at its entertainment venues, in an attempt to entice more off-duty cops to staff the large-scale events there.

Officials say they're having trouble finding enough security personnel who want to work, especially when some bars and nightclubs are paying $55 an hour.

The village won't pay that much, but it is increasing the compensation rate for a supervisor from $28 an hour to $43 an hour, under an amendment to its contract with Monterrey Security Consultants.

The firm has been handling crowd control and entry checkpoints at village event venues since 2015, often hiring off-duty and retired Rosemont officers to work alongside other off-duty cops from around the suburbs.

After supervisors, regular officers hired to work security will be paid $38 an hour, per the new wage rates. Currently, off-duty Rosemont cops are paid $26 an hour, and all other officers are paid $25 an hour.

Wages for additional traffic support personnel outside the venues - including the Allstate Arena, Rosemont Theatre and Donald E. Stephens Convention Center - will be $22.50. That matches the new pay rate for the hundreds of part-time Rosemont auxiliary officers, who were being paid $21 an hour. Auxiliary officers also primarily work traffic control, but they've seen a significant turnover in their ranks during the pandemic.

Now the event calendars are looking more like 2019 than 2020 or 2021 at the Northwest suburban entertainment destination. And there's a demand for staff to work the concerts, sporting events and shows attended by thousands who are filling seats again.

"We're looking at a pre-pandemic year," said Mayor Brad Stephens.

The mayor said the planned increase in the local amusement tax approved in February - representing an extra penny on the dollar - would pay for the increased costs to retain and hire security staff. Estimates are that the village could generate an extra $750,000 to $1 million a year.

The tax increase, from 3% to 4%, was tacked onto the price of ticketed admissions July 1, while the new compensation rates take effect Aug. 1.

Monterrey, which also provides security at Soldier Field among other venues, has hundreds of employees on its roster, but staffing at a given event fluctuates depending on attendance and other factors. A big concert at the Allstate Arena can enlist at least 100 security personnel, Stephens said.

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