Salisbury police officers to get $1,600 pay increase
By Amanda Raymond
The Salisbury Police Department is going to be getting an increase in salary in the upcoming weeks, according to city officials.
At a special meeting on March 1 to follow up on the 31st Annual Future Directions and Goal Setting Retreat, the Salisbury City Council and city staff talked about the Salisbury Police Department.
City Manager Lane Bailey said there were about a dozen vacancies in the department that were “by far … the largest area of vacancies within the city.”
Because of those vacancies and other challenges, Bailey said the city will use some of the funds that would have been used for police officers’ salaries in the vacant slots to increase pay within the department, including the starting pay for incoming officers.
Officers will receive pay raises of more than $1,600 that will take effect in the upcoming weeks, according to Ruth Chaparro Kennerly, director of Human Resources.
“Now, I realize that that will put challenges on FY16-17 if we have the same number of positions in the police department because we’ve increased the pay, but I think this is just something we’ve got to do,” Bailey said at the meeting.
Mayor Pro Tem Maggie Blackwell said the salaries and benefits for Salisbury’s officers have to be competitive.
“Our salaries and benefits have got to come on par with the nearby communities so that we stop being the local police academy,” she said at the meeting.
After a talk with the officers in the department, Bailey said some officers were concerned that incoming officers might be getting paid the same or more than officers who had been in the department for years, which is known as salary compression.
Bailey said city departments worked to make sure the salary increases were not creating salary compression issues.
According Kennerly, the pay increases are as follows:
- Police Officer I was considered as Grade 15 and paid a salary of $32,594.13. The position will now be considered Grade 16 and be paid $34,223.83.
- Police Officer II was considered grade 16 and paid a salary of $34,223.83. The position will now be considered Grade 17 and be paid $35,935.03.
- Master Police Officer was considered Grade 17 and paid a salary of $35,935.03. The position will now be considered Grade 18 and be paid $37,731.77.
- Sergeant was considered Grade 20 and paid a salary of $41,599.29. The position will now be considered Grade 21 and be paid $43,679.25.
There are also educational incentives. An associate’s degree adds $1,000 to the salary, a bachelor’s degree adds $2,000 and a master’s degree adds $2,500.
The incentives were budgeted in the fiscal year 2015-2016 budget.
Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.