Public Safety Committee approves police pay plan for next review

JONESBORO, Ark. – Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott said Tuesday 99 percent of police officers were pleased with the new proposed police pay plan.

The Public Safety Committee seemed satisfied with the plan as well, voting to approve and send it to the Finance Committee for funding.

Under it, officers would start at $34,500 and be given raises based on the number of years they were with the department, maxing out at 20 years. Adjustments would be made as well to give incentive for senior patrol officers to advance to the rank of sergeant. Elliott told the group Tuesday afternoon in the Municipal Center that currently, small pay increase was not enough to justify losing weekends off or taking a late-night shift, potentially.

Elliott said he felt like 99 percent of the officers were satisfied but if you search enough, you could find someone unhappy – and we did.

One veteran of the department for over 20 years spoke to NEA Report on condition of anonymity. He said he and at least one of similar tenure felt “unappreciated.”

“This committee that met had representatives from each shift and division so as we came up with the final plan, they went back to their shift or division, let everybody see the numbers when they were plugged in, and everybody is in agreeance with what’s being proposed,” Elliott told NEA Report.

Elliott said the city will still have to revisit salary issues every few years because of natural market changes but with this plan, it will be an easier fix.

“We think we’ve come up with a plan that’s fair for everyone involved but more importantly will fix the issue down the road,” Elliott said. “Now, with this being said, the city is still going to have to revisit the whole salary thing every few years because the market can go one way or the other.”

Video from the meeting will be available below upon upload completion. (Two videos)

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