WASHINGTON— District of Columbia lawmakers have rejected a proposal to double police officers’ salaries to keep them from retiring.

The bill was the first major legislative push from former mayor Vincent Gray since he rejoined the council in January. Gray, a Democrat, argued that the city’s police officer shortage is so urgent that it should be addressed with emergency legislation, bypassing public hearings.

Many council members said Tuesday the city needs to do more to retain police officers but said it can be done through the normal legislative process. The council voted 9-to-4 to reject Gray’s emergency bill.

Council member Charles Allen, who chairs the public safety committee, says Gray’s idea is a good one and he wants to explore it as part of a comprehensive strategy to retain officers.

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