April 26, 2007
Reported by Vince Atkinson
What if your community did not have enough police officers? That scary scenario could play out in Jennings; some Jennings police officers have raised concern about what they call substandard pay. City leaders say there is only so much money in the cities budget, but some officers are demanding some kind of resolution.
Recruiting and then keeping enough police officers is not easy for smaller cities, just ask any Jennings police officer. Jennings Association of Police President Damon Daigle said, "In patrol we are at least six officers shy." Some officers say the problem all boils down to the pay. The base pay for a patrolman before completing the training academy is just over $8.00 an hour.
It is important to note, Jennings city leaders have given pay increases over the past few years. Jennings Mayor Terry Duhon said, "I do understand their concerns about wanting to make more money and everything, but the city does have a limited budget. We have other projects that we have to fund." The Jennings Association of Police is now trying to come up with a solution that works for the officers and the cities budget. The association's says the first order of business will be looking at other departments across the state that are similar in size in order to find out what kind of pay and benefits they receive.