Jackson Increases Police Base Pay For 1st Time In A Decade

JACKSON, MS — As some cities in the U.S. consider spending less on law enforcement, Mississippi’s capital city is increasing police officers’ base pay for the first time in 10 years.

A raise is included in the Jackson budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, the Clarion Ledger reported. The increase comes as Jackson is on track to hit a record number of homicides in a calendar year.

Officers graduating from the training academy will start at $30,000 a year, up from the previous base of $26,900. The salary will increase to $31,000 after the first year.

Also, officers will see an increase in pay to $33,000 and $35,000 in their third and fifth years. Before the change, it took 10 years to move up to $35,000.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for patrol officers in Mississippi is about $36,000.

The pay increase is expected to help Jackson recruit and retain officers. The department is short roughly 25% of its budgeted workforce.

Jackson City Council President Aaron Banks has argued a pay increase would improve officers’ morale.

“We must have more officers, more quality officers. Part of the remedy to help with that is to raise the floor for new recruits,” Banks said at a recent council meeting.

Councilman Melvin Priester Jr. said police funding was “at the heart of all our budget discussions this year.”

“I wish we could have done more, and I still have concerns, but it’s far overdue to give the police some type of raise,” Priester said.

From WLBT

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