What are the results of a police pay study?

Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 4:19 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - By now you’ve likely heard a lot of talk about a pay study for the Columbus Police Department, in order to become more competitive in recruiting efforts for new officers.

One city in the region recently completed a pay study for officers and implemented a new plan.

While the cities aren’t comparable in size, Columbus and Dothan, Ala. have something in common.

Both are working to recruit law enforcement officers and have been exploring incentives in the process.

Dothan is a little further ahead of the game, passing major pay raises just this week.

“So once you come out of the police can you’ll be making just over $50,000 to start,” said Dothan Police Chief Will Benny.

According to Benny, this has put the city at the top of the one percent for pay in the state of Alabama.

“Workers in today’s field have so many more options than they had to maybe a generation ago. So we have to be attractive for those. So we looked at how we were training, what we were training, the city’s got a $20 million investment in a training center. We are redoing our fleet of cars. We have cutting edge technology, The best equipment. The logical next step was to pay those employees,” explained the police chief.

Dothan Police Department took a step back and looked at their recruitment process, completely revamped the approach and started with competitive pay.

“We’re starting in the high schools with what we call Junior Police Academy is taking a homegrown approach to public safety. We’ve seen some of those high school kids that we started recruiting back in the day that are old enough to become police officers and joining the force,” said Benny.

Again, the cities aren’t comparable in size.

Columbus serves a population three times that of Dothan.

However, the proximity of the two cities being 90 miles apart could mean the two would recruit from a similar talent pool of possible new officers.

Columbus has been looking to add roughly 100 officers to the force. Dothan plans to add 40 in the near future on the new escalated pay scale.

The pay raises in Dothan’s police force are not only for new officers. All officers will receive an adjusted pay to the new scale.

Officers with experience joining their police force can earn over $80,000 annually.

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