Blytheville Industry, Economic Conditions Competition for Police Department - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Heather Flanigan Reports

Blytheville Industry, Economic Conditions Competition for Police Department

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) -- In the last four months, the Blytheville Police Department has lost four officers to higher paying jobs outside the department...bringing their staff down to 40. 

It's a big hit for the department, which is having trouble competing for job candidates against some of the higher paying factories in town...but Police Chief Ross Thompson says it's not impacting the way they patrol the streets. 

The city is budgeted for 45 officers but only has 40 officers on the force currently.   That's one officer for every 400 residents.

"There are more demands, societal type demands and people expect more and that's where law enforcement is headed.  I think the pay and benefits are some of the things that haven't kept up with that. Not just Blytheville, but across the country," said Chief Thompson.

The current starting pay for a Blytheville Police Officer is $24,700.  Under Chief Thompson's restructuring plan, new officers would take home $25,557 their first year.

Economic conditions, including higher gas prices, have had an impact on officers searching for higher paying jobs.  Chief Thompson also believes Blytheville's strong and high paying work force is playing a role.

"They've done such a good job on bringing in these industries that are paying well, now we are competing for some of those higher paying jobs," said Chief Thompson, "And I think some of the factories like the firemen and police because of their background and their character, work ethic."

On the average, BPD officers have about seven years of experience with the force. 

"If anybody knows anybody who is interested in law enforcement, I'll take this opportunity to solicit," laughed Thompson, "There are a lot of good opportunities in law enforcement in Blytheville."

The Blytheville Police Department holds hiring meetings on the third Friday of every month.  For more information, contact the bpd at (870) 763-4411.

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Juveniles caught on camera breaking into school

    Juveniles caught on camera breaking into school

    Thursday, July 20 2017 11:36 AM EDT2017-07-20 15:36:40 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 2:01 PM EDT2017-07-20 18:01:54 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    While most students enjoy being out of school during summer break, Jonesboro police say one group of kids couldn’t wait to get back in. Not to study, but to steal.

    While most students enjoy being out of school during summer break, Jonesboro police say one group of kids couldn’t wait to get back in. Not to study, but to steal.

  • Out of luck: Police say man tried to cash stolen lottery tickets

    Out of luck: Police say man tried to cash stolen lottery tickets

    Thursday, July 20 2017 11:18 AM EDT2017-07-20 15:18:17 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 1:57 PM EDT2017-07-20 17:57:47 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    A man suspected of trying to cash in some stolen lottery tickets may have just run out of luck.

    A man suspected of trying to cash in some stolen lottery tickets may have just run out of luck.

  • Cooling centers open in Butler County

    Cooling centers open in Butler County

    Thursday, July 20 2017 9:51 AM EDT2017-07-20 13:51:45 GMT
    Thursday, July 20 2017 12:57 PM EDT2017-07-20 16:57:41 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    Communities throughout Butler County are opening cooling centers to help residents beat the heat.

    Communities throughout Butler County are opening cooling centers to help residents beat the heat.

Powered by Frankly