Viewpoint: Police Low Salaries

The Dougherty County Police Chief says low salaries are prompting more officers to leave the department, putting public safety at risk.

Chief Jackie Battle told county commissioners Monday 14 officers left the department last year, mostly because of low salaries challenging the department's ability to fight crime.  Some who stay on the force are holding side jobs to make ends meet.

And low salaries aren't making it easy to attract new applicants.  "It's kind of hard to keep someone in a job where they're making the same pay that they started with four of five years ago," said Chief Jackie Battle, Dougherty County Police Department.

This was one of the main goals of consolidating Albany and Dougherty County… to save millions of taxpayers' dollars, and be able to pay what is needed for public safety. "Public safety has to be at the top of our list of priorities.

That's part of what we're responsible for as a government," said John Hayes, Dougherty County Commissioner.

Isn't that interesting when Commissioner Hayes voted against allowing the citizens to vote on consolidation! In another recent survey taken by the Chamber of Commerce, most citizens feel we need to consolidate the two governments.

Starting pay for patrol officers is $26,000 a year, significantly lower than surrounding law enforcement agencies. Ask your commissioner today to allow the public to vote on consolidation…this public safety issue must be addressed.

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