The mayor’s office and city council members have been working to establish the upcoming city budget, and Mayor Percy Bland is pushing for an increase in police pay.
“We proposed to the city council for their approval of non-certified officers with less than one year to be paid at $15/hr starting salary, police officers with one year but less than two years $16.25/hr, transfers from other agencies or departments $16.75/hr, senior police officers $17.75/hr, and detectives and corporals that we now call master police officers $19/hr,” said Bland.
With the current starting salary at $11.81/hr, Bland said the Meridian Police Department is losing police officers.
“We think it is in our best interest and the city’s best interest to pay them fairly, to be more competitive, and to put them in position and us in position, so that they don’t have to be trained by the City of Meridian and go elsewhere for employment.”
He explained that the pay increase is needed to maintain public safety.
“I think the citizens know how important it is for us to stay as manned as we can in our police department. Sometimes, like now, we’re a little under-manned, so guys are working a lot of overtime.”
Bland said he believes most city council members will agree to make the salary adjustments.
The budget will be approved in September and will go into effect on October 1st.