PIKESVILLE, MD. -- State Police officials want Gov. William Donald Schaefer to include a $6.4 million pay increase in his budget, which they say would bring police salaries in line with other states.

The proposed pay raises would average 8 percent for troopers, corporals and sergeants as part of a major change in the agency's pay structure, according to Lt. John Hughes, a State Police spokesman.

"Our salaries are not competitive at all," he said. "Recruiting and retention have been major problems."

The proposal has been forwarded to the state personnel department for possible inclusion in Schaefer's budget, which will be submitted to the General Assembly in January.

The plan would call for each sworn officer to receive a $1,000 subsistence payment for out-of-pocket expenses.

Lieutenants and those with higher ranks also would receive a 4 percent pay raise plus a lump-sum payment of $1,719 to offset the elimination of overtime pay for some officers, he said.

The pay plan covers the 1,670 sworn officers. Civilian employes would receive the same raise as other state workers, Hughes said.

The proposal comes shortly after the Schaefer administration said the new State Police superintendent, Elmer H. Tippett, would receive $70,700 a year, up from the $61,300 annual pay of his predecessor.