Council to discuss $852,000 in salary increases for police officers

Committee brings police pay to the council
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro police officers could be seeing more money in their pockets soon.

The Police Officer Compensation Committee is ready to bring their recommendations on police pay to the city council.

"At this point in time, we need to retain our officers and we need to be able to recruit more officers," Mitch Johnson said.

Johnson, the chairperson of the Police Officer Compensation Committee and the Public Safety Council Committee, told council members Tuesday night that he wants to hold a special meeting in a week to discuss the plan in detail.

Johnson, Police Chief Rick Elliott, Chief Financial Officer Suzanne Allen, and six Jonesboro police officers have worked four weeks on the step plan.

"We've kind of created a model that will put step raises back into the police salary," Johnson said. "It'll go out over a 20 year period."

Johnson said in a meeting with police officers earlier this year, step raises were a big concern. Many other departments in the state give step raises for years on the job. Currently, the Jonesboro Police Department does not.

"It should equalize our pay, as well as help with our retention," Johnson said. "I think most of all, it will give the chief a good recruiting tool."

The plan will cost the city $852,006 up front. Johnson said if it's approved, officers will receive step raises for 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 15 and 20 years on the job.

"It may seem like a big bite financially on the front end but it will level out," Johnson said. "As the years go by, you'll see a lot of higher salaries drop out, and you'll never replace them with that high of a salary. Really, it will either balance out or be a cost saver in the long run."

Johnson called the special Public Safety Council Committee meeting for Tuesday, July 26 at 4:30 p.m.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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Posted by Region 8 News on Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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