Following recent police pay raise, Baton Rouge city officials ready to recruit
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - For some time now, the Baton Rouge Police Department’s pay scale has been lower than surrounding agencies.
Sgt. L’Jean McKneely, a spokesman for BRPD, says it has been hard to compete with other law enforcement agencies.
“Even though people have a mindset to serve and they want to protect their community, they also have a family they need to provide for,” said McKneely.
The mayor’s office completed a police officer pay study in 2019 with a goal of bringing officer pay to the regional average. The study compared salaries and benefits at BRPD to nearby law enforcement agencies.
The East Baton Rouge Metro Council approved a 7% pay increase for Baton Rouge police officers, pushing them closer to that goal.
“We’re talking about a 13% pay raise in less than two years,” said Chief Murphy Paul. “That’s over $7 million. And to be able to do that without going to the voters and asking to increase taxes in trying times.”
Bill Profita, the spokesman for the Baton Rouge Union of Police, says there is still more work to do but this is a step in the right direction.
“This still doesn’t get us to that level but it’s a great start,” said Profita. “It will help with recruiting and retaining new officers. There was some concern that some of the older officers might camp out early but we’ll get to that later.”
The mayor’s office said taxes will not be raised to support the pay increases.
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