By Tia Lynn Ivey
In an effort to recruit and retain quality police officers, the City of Madison has enacted a pay scale increase for the city’s police force.
At the Madison Mayor and City Council meeting on Monday, Nov. 9. The council members voted unanimously to approve a pay scale increase for city police officers.
“It’s going up substantially,” said Madison Mayor Fred Perriman. “We did this to keep our law enforcement here and to recruit new police officers.”
According to City Manager David Nunn, the starting pay for rookie police officers was good, but moving up the ladder to higher positions and higher pay is difficult in a small town police department.
“Our starting pay is O.K., but after that, we have let it get a little behind,” explained Nunn at a meeting a few months ago. “We need to look at a significant pay bump after six months with the department and then after that, in five years, 10 years, some guaranteed pay increases.”
The council approved just that Monday night along with other incentives and pay scale increases.
The new pay rates are as follows. A non-certified attending the police academy will earn $39,653 per year. Upon graduation of the police academy, an officer will earn $40,049 per year.
Certified with zero to four years of experience with another agency will earn $40,049 per year. Certified with five to nine years of experience with another agency will earn $40,864 per year. Certified with 10 to 14 years of experience with another agency will earn $41,645 per year. Fifteen or more years experience will be negotiable. There’s also incentive for officers to earn college degrees. If an officer earns an Associates Degree will get a 2 percent pay scale increase. An officer with a Bachelor’s Degree will get a 4 percent pay scale increase. An officer with a Master’s Degree with get a 6 percent pay scale increase. Other training and certification achievements will yield two to four percent pay scale increase.
Perriman said the department is short by three officers.
“We want to get our police force back up to where it should be,” said Perriman. “The best way to do that is to increase the pay scale so our officers can afford to live here and don’t have to leave for other police departments that pay higher salaries. We want to recruit new police officers and adequately compensate our existing officers. They do a great job for our city.”