Police to get 15% pay raise in Good Life City; City Commissioner Jalen Johnson comments

Starting annual salary will be boosted to 51k.

ALBANY, Ga. – Albany city officials are looking to give police officers a pay increase. What they are discussing is a 15% increase for officers who work on the road and a starting base salary of $51,000 for new hires.

In the Good Life City, a new officer can expect to make in the mid-40s, but Albany City Commissioner Jalen Johnson says that’s not enough.

“It makes us competitive, and it puts us at the top of the ladder in Southwest Georgia, so I think a $51,000 starting salary for a police officer is actually pretty good here in South Georgia so we’re going to make sure that we fight for that because we know that it’s important for them to be able to provide for their families,” said City Commissioner, Jalen Johnson.

The city commissioner says APD is experiencing a staff shortage.

“Across the nation we seen the great resignation of law-enforcement officers with the whole defund the police narrative. Police officers have felt that they are not being supported, but not here in City of Albany. I’m going to make sure that I fight each and every day to make sure that we let our police officers know that we support them, and we also have people who care about their families and want to make sure they feel safe. So, we need to be refunding our police and giving them more resources, not defunding our police” Johnson said.

He hopes a bump in pay will entice more people to come to Albany.

“We all know that the root of the problem comes down to pay. At the end of the day, if you have an officer here in the City of Albany, from the time they get into their car if they’re hustling and bustling, answering hundreds of calls of service in any given shift, they will take lower pay to go to a different agency where you don’t have nearly as may calls of service. So, we need to compensate our officers for the work that their doing. I think this is a huge step in showing our appreciation for what they do,” said Commissioner Johnson.

Johnson wants other departments to get a pay boost also.

“So, we’re already looking right now to raise to pay for all of our city employees. We haven’t forgot about our line workers, our utility workers, our gas, sewer, our fire fighters.  We want to make sure that all city employees feel compensated because they all work hard day in and day out,” said Commissioner Johnson.

The numbers in this pay increase are included in the $300 million 2023-2024 budget which the commission plans to vote on June 28th. If approved, the increase will go into effect July 1st of this year, which Commissioner Johnson says looks promising.

Mary Alex Anders reporting.

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