BROOKLYN - The New York Police Department and the city reached a contract deal Friday, securing a raise for 23,000 of New York?s finest.

For the first time in more than a decade, the NYPD and the city administration did not resort to the help of a state arbitration panel to reach an agreement.

Instead, they worked out a contract together that gives police officers a 17 percent pay raise over the next four years.

According to the terms of the agreement, the starting annual salary for an officer will be raised from $36,000 to more than $40,000. The pay increase goes into effect retroactively to Aug. 1, 2006.

In the past, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and union leaders complained that officers who earn $25,000 a year cannot make a long-term commitment to the force, which also caused a drop in recruitment numbers.

The new deal that had been reached Friday affects officers only. Sergeants, detectives, captains and lieutenants in the 36,000-strong New York Police Department have separate labor contracts.

The police union will have to ratify the new contract before it officially goes into effect. The union and the city will meet at the bargaining table only in 2010, when the new contract expires.