DEKALB COUNTY, Ga — DeKalb officials announced a pay increase that would make its officers the highest paid in the state.
Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Mark Winne was at the police precinct in Tucker on Tuesday, where city officials announced the increase.
DeKalb announced today that the starting salary will jump to $50,000.
“The biggest challenge we say is this plague of violence that’s bedeviling not just DeKalb but all the state of Georgia, all across this country,” DeKalb Police CEO Michael L. Thurmond said.
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Thurmond says current officers lieutenant and below get the 6.5% increase also, on top of a 6.25% temporary hazardous duty pay during COVID he made permanent earlier this year.
“Actually, not a bad profession to be in. The 6% will make it every greater,” Officer Lendarius Farley said.
Jeff Wiggs says he’s retired from DeKalb Police Department and as president of the DeKalb Fraternal Order of Police and emailed the CEO and commissioners weeks ago urging at least a 20% salary increase, and he said many officers are disheartened by a 6.5% raise.
“It’s a step in the right direction, but we’re long from the mark of where we need to be,” Wiggs said.
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Thurmond says he also plans to keep the triple overtime pay until staffing improves.
“I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish today, but I know that is not enough. We have to remain vigilant,” Thurmond said.
Thurmond mentioned that the 6.5 % raise so far does not apply to captains and above, but he plans to give them a raise too. The timeline for that is still to be determined, but there is money there to do so.
DeKalb is not alone, as police departments across metro Atlanta are having trouble staffing.
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