ABBEVILLE, AL - City leaders in Abbeville, Ala., are coming up with new strategies to deal with police force shortages resulting from low pay, according to WSFA 12.
Officers starting out make just $11 an hour, Abbeville Police Chief Mike Jones told WSFA. "That's pretty hard for a man with a family to make a living."
The plan includes a take-home policy for police cruisers if the officer lives within city limits.
In addition, the department is cutting two unfilled positions and spreading out the money, starting with increasing the starting salary by about a dollar an hour. City leaders said despite the pay increases, the city will actually save money in the long run.
Mayor Ryan Blalock said it costs $15,000 to train a police officer. "That's the most of any department we have, and when that's the highest turnover you have, those things just don't match."
The plan will save the department so much money, officers will now be up for performance based raises each year as long as they meet certain criteria like preparedness for court, attendance, late duty, etc., according to WSFA.
"We're hoping this is going to give us better performing officers. We can give then incentives, and we can give them a reason to actually go out and do better," Blalock said, reported WSFA 12.