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Pay hike warranted for police department

By Staff | Aug 5, 2010

Let’s say there was an employer who hired a worker and after about a year of employment, that worker parlays that experience into landing a higher-paying job at a similar company.

The employer again goes through the steps of advertising to fill the vacant position and interviews workers. Another employee is hired, trained and in a year, maybe two, that employee is gone to another company for better wage and benefits.

What is the employer to do?

Well, they can continue the revolving door of employees gaining experience and moving which can be taxing on other staff members as well as the employer, or they could raise the pay and benefits in an attempt to keep those workers around longer.

What if that employer was the city of Rugby and that employee was a police officer?

Conventional wisdom would come to the same conclusion. Bump up the pay.

And that’s what the Rugby Public Safety Committee has proposed for the department’s 2011 budget.

The department has seen a number of officers come and go in recent years and that translates into a police force lacking continuity.

The turnover also means remaining officers are forced to work overtime and that adds stress, not to mention expense.

There are going to be young officers who see a job in a small town like Rugby as a stepping stone to one in a larger department. However, there may be experienced law officers out there who prefer working in a small department. Perhaps they’ve worked in the big city and are ready for a change.

Ideally, that’s the officer to hire, but the salary has to be competitive to attract them to the community.

Like any job, experience warrants more pay, but that may also assure that the employee sticks around.

There has been too much turnover at the police department in the past three years and its time to address the problem.

City officials and the department are taking the necessary steps to do that.

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