Gadsden police officers getting raises and new precincts

Gadsden city council approves mid-year raises for police officers
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 6:12 PM CDT
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GADSDEN, Ala. (WBRC) - The Gadsden city council recently approved mid-year raises for the city’s police officers. The city is also building new substations to get law enforcement more spread out in the community.

This bump in pay is something city leaders say will help them compete with surrounding departments.

Right now, all officers work downtown in city hall. These three new precincts will improve public safety while getting officers closer to more neighborhoods.

Gadsden Chief of Staff Brett Johnson, said, “The officers aren’t all on patrol on the other side of the city today.” He believes having more locations will help to serve as a deterrent to stop criminal activity.

Johnson adds that having more precincts benefits the officers as well.

“To have a physical location in or near our neighborhood areas for them to stop and do some paperwork and not have to come all the way to city hall or make some phone calls or get ready for their next assignment or talk to their partners.”

The city plans to add these sub-precincts to three new fire stations will also help save money.

“There are a lot of different things going on in the fire service, a lot of other things going on in the police departments,” says Johnson. “So physically, they can be together, and that’s attractive because we’re going to own the land and be building already in that area, so you don’t have to worry about if we wanted to build a precinct on another plot of land then we’d have to go and buy that separate plot of land.”

As they continue to recruit more officers, the vacancies within the department helped the city council to come up with a way to give law enforcement mid-year raises.

“We’re able to do that because of unfilled positions, which is not a great problem to have but to recognize the duties that the police officers have to undergo and to fill all that work that needs to be done to cover the city,” says Johnson. “The funds were there in the budget to do that. We’re in position to be competitive for law enforcement in the next year.”

The city says they expect to know the exact amount for the raise later this year.

Johnson says as they continue to work on next year’s budget, a goal of the mayor and council is to increase pay for all city employees, including firefighters.

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