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Porterdale council expected to take up police pay

PORTERDALE, Ga. – The Porterdale City Council is expected to take up police pay later this month after salary hikes for other agencies in the area left Porterdale officers lagging behind.

According to information presented by Police Chief Jason Cripps at Monday’s city council meeting, Porterdale police trainees start at $14.50 per hour with rookie cops with no experience making $16.56 per hour after finishing the police academy. Starting pay for an experienced officer in Porterdale is $17.06.

By comparison, the minimum starting pay for an experienced officer in Oxford is $17.95 per hour but can be set as high as $19.23 based on qualifications. Starting pay for experienced officers in Social Circle is $19.32 per hour. Trainees and officers with no experience start at $18.94 per hour.

Mayor Arline Chapman said she supports pay increases for her city’s cops.

“I fully support the plan to bring our officers to a competitive level,” she said in an email to The Covington News.

According to numbers provided by Cripps, in 2018 the city’s eight-member force was dispatched to 5,405 calls and conducted 2,560 traffic stops.

Porterdale cops arrested 406 people last year including 25 for driving under the influence and 67 for drugs. The department made 52 felony arrests, located 66 wanted persons and issued 1,566 citations.

Cripps said he hopes to raise starting pay by $2 to $3 per hour over the next 24 to 36 months.

“I have to stay competitive with other local agencies current and starting pay,” he said.

City Manager Bob Thomson said the council will review Cripps’ proposal at its work session Jan. 24.