The Associated Press

EL PASO, Texas (AP)- El Paso police officers and firefighters have voted overwhelmingly to postpone their 2009 raises to next year, giving up $1.2 million in compensation to help the City of El Paso meet its budget for fiscal year 2010.

A statement Wednesday from the El Paso Municipal Police Officers' Association said officers also voted to give up their overtime pay for working holidays but will instead take additional days off.

Association president Robert Gomez said city officials approached them in June about postponing their raises in light of the "huge budget shortfall."

The officers would have received a 2 percent raise in September. The raise will now be postponed until January.

The president of the El Paso Association of Fire Fighters, Joe Tellez, said he was proud of his membership for agreeing to defer its next pay raise in order to help the city.