A Better Region 8: Competitive pay for police

A Better Region 8: Competitive pay for police

The Jonesboro Police department and the Law Enforcement Appreciation Community Picnic and Rally was a much-deserved event that many people in our community worked so hard to make happen.

But that was then, and this is now. There is still a lot of work to do when it comes to pay for Region 8's law enforcement officers.

Recently, the Blytheville Police Department took on the issue too.

In a Region 8 exclusive report, Blytheville Police Chief Ross Thompson outlined a plan to give his officers a small raise. The current starting pay for a Blytheville Police Officer is $24,700.  Under Chief Thompson's plan, new officers would take home $25,557 their first year.

The city's Finance Director John Callens said the city council held a meeting to discuss all options to increase salary and what it would take to get competitive pay. That's a step in the right direction, but much more needs to be done.

Here in Jonesboro, the latest development is a question mark when it comes to raising police officer salaries.

Yet another committee has been formed to look at the issue.

The new Police Compensation committee consists of CFO Suzanne Allen, Human Resources Director DeWayne Douglas, Jonesboro City Council member Mitch Johnson and Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliot.

The members of this committee, as well as the Blytheville City Council, seem to hear the public drum beating.

Will they get results? Only time will tell.

I can tell you, that the journalists in the Region 8 newsroom will be watching.

Holding those accountable for doing what they say they're going to do...makes this A Better Region 8.

- Chris Conroy, KAIT VP & General Manager

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android