JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It has been roughly two weeks since the Jonesboro city council approved the police department pay plan.
That plan implements step raises for officers, helping them get to their midpoint and maximum salaries.
With the pay plan now in effect, the department is hopeful that they will be able to retain and keep certified officers, strengthening their manpower.
Prior to the passage of the pay plan, quite a few officers left the Jonesboro Police Department.
Some officers left for other departments and some for private sector jobs, leaving JPD short staffed.
According to many of those who left, pay was a large factor in their departure.
Now that the pay plan is approved, officers will see the benefits starting Oct.15.
According to Police Chief Rick Elliott, the passage of the pay plan is a huge benefit to officers who come to work for JPD because they know how much they will be making 5, 10, and even 15 years from now.
Chief Elliott said when they were short staffed, special service units like PROWL were temporarily disbanded, but hopefully, with a new pay plan as an incentive to recruit and retain certified officers, they will be able to reestablish those special service units soon.
"We should see a reduction in crime and hopefully see a reduction in traffic accidents because there will be more officers available to do traffic enforcement," Elliott said.
Chief Elliott said they currently have 159 sworn officers. Twenty of those officers are going through training before going out on their own.
JPD still has three positions left to fill but Elliott said by the end of November he expects to be fully staffed and in all areas.
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