COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - At the risk of sounding obvious: the police who protect us deserve more money.
The City Council will soon vote on the proposed 2019 Columbus budget and a pay raise of about $1,000 is included for new officers joining the force.
That means their paycheck will be just over $40,000, with more money for officers' promoted to higher ranks or with more education.
We believe it's always time to address the issue of financial support for the men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day.
Mayor Teresa Tomlinson knows hiring qualified officers is always a priority because citizen safety is her top priority.
But hiring good officers is competitive, with cities of similar size able to offer more, and drawing away quality candidates who might otherwise join the Columbus Police Department.
So, the mayor compared us to other regions and found we need to add more dollars to police paychecks to stay competitive.
It's the right thing to do on every level.
We ask the police to do difficult work: mediate domestic disputes, respond to gunshots, rescue citizens from perilous situations and investigate crimes to improve our quality of life.
This is always dangerous, sometimes hard physical work and always mentally challenging work involved, requiring officers use patience, intelligence, the proper restraint but also authority, to carry out their duties.
Being a police officer is a very tough job and we all ought to thank every officer we see.
They come to work never knowing what they will face but are always outfitted, well-trained and ready to do whatever we ask of them.
The proposed officer pay raise is the right thing to do for the brave men and women in blue.
General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906