Jonesboro police chief hopes discussions on longevity pay keep officers around longer

Jonesboro police chief hopes discussions on longevity pay keep officers around longer

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Jonesboro Police Department is just a few weeks away from testing for a new set of potential police officers.

Police Chief Rick Elliott said he hopes discussions that have been going on in the city regarding pay help keep those officers on the force.

"Several times throughout the year, we're gonna lose people to taking jobs with better pay," Chief Elliott said.

Earlier this year, the Jonesboro City Council appointed a committee to look at the longevity pay for all city departments.

The Jonesboro Police Department is allotted 159 officers and right now, the department is down three people, according to Chief Elliott.

He explained that during the upcoming testing period, though there may be more than 100 applicants, they might only interview about 15 people once all the testing is complete.

Even then, Chief Elliott explained that hiring someone and sending them through the police academy doesn't guarantee that they stay with the department.

"We just recently had a couple of officers turn their letters in. One is going to a different law enforcement agency and the other one is going to the private sector," Chief Elliott said. "We've lost guys before we even get them on the road. They've had a change of heart about the job and realize this is not what they want to do."
However, for the officers that remain on the force, Chief Elliott said it's important to keep them there. He said pay plays a big role in that.

"We do have a good corps of people that are dedicated to the job and I'd like to see them compensated and I'd like to retain them here," Chief Elliott said. "We don't need them going anywhere else because we, at this point, have invested a lot of time and money into these officers that are here."

Chief Elliott said though a committee was formed to look at issues regarding longevity and salary for Jonesboro employees, he believes they are now looking to bring in an outside company to look at salaries in the city.

If you're interested in testing to become a Jonesboro Police Officer, download an application at the Jonesboro Police Department website. You may also stop by the police department at 1001 South Caraway Road to pick up an application.

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