HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Members of the Hattiesburg Police Department will see a pay raise this spring.
Hattiesburg City Council unanimously approved the pay scale alignment at Tuesday afternoon's meeting. The scale lists a starting salary per position and increases throughout the tenure. Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker said this new scale was important after the administration identified a lack of consistency among how pay raises or professional development was done.
"Now, any officer can see where they can go with their career, whether it's staying as a patrolman, becoming a detective, a lieutenant, a captain. And you can see a path for yourself, all the way to chief now," Barker said. "It's going to be a valuable tool for retention and recruitment."
The approved pay scale also increases an individuals salary based on college education. For example, a patrol officer with a base salary of $35,000/year could receive $38,000 with a master's degree.
"I'm very much in favor of incentive pay raises, so we encourage that and reward that when people get further education," said council member Mary Dryden. "I'd also like for us to reward even more than this pay scale showed."
"It reflects the kind of police force we want to have," said Barker. "We want someone that is very community driven, who knows what the latest research says in public safety and criminal justice. Those things make us a smarter, safer city."
Barker said he will sign a resolution before the increase goes into effect April 1st.