Dothan police officers will receive a significant pay increase beginning in April, the second rise in the last two years.

At present, certified officers starting pay is $45,231 in annual salary.

Following the pay increase, the minimum wage will rise by about 11 percent to $50,188 per year.

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The annual salary for Dothan Police Department officers increased to $42,200 in September 2020, up from $37,600.

Dothan Police Chief Will Benny said: “The commission and the city are prioritizing public safety by approving this increase. It is definitely needed to make our department competitive pay-wise with other departments throughout the state.”

Benny cited difficulties in recruiting and retaining police officers at the current rate of pay and stated that the raise is a “natural evolutionary step” for Dothan to have the best-trained and best-equipped police force in the state.

With the salary increase, Dothan’s pay schedule will be close to matching the salaries in departments in larger Alabama cities like Hoover and Huntsville and put the range in the top 1 percent of all police departments in the state.

City Manager Kevin Cowper said: “The public safety of the citizens of Dothan and visitors is the top priority of the city, If people don’t feel safe in our community, they won’t want to come here.”

With the city administration’s blessing, the personnel board signed off on the pay raise on Tuesday, March 15.

All-City of Dothan police officers will see a boost in their paychecks when it goes into effect in April.

Salary adjustments and fringe benefits will add about $1 million to DPD’s expenses this fiscal year, but Benny says the funding is already available due to the number of unfilled positions.

In addition, beginning in October, another 20 certified officer positions will become available, and the board approved an additional five positions every year for the next four years to meet the demands of the growing population.

Cowper stated that the city has already streamlined the process of becoming an officer, and that pay raises are the logical next step in achieving its objectives.

The personnel board also approved a 10 percent pay hike for dispatch personnel at the emergency call center.

Source: Dothan Eagle

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