Up & Coming Weekly

March 03, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1217454

Contents of this Issue


Page 11 of 32

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM MARCH 4-10, 2020 UCW 11 e national average wage for a police officer in the United States, according to the most recent data released by the Bureau of Labor Sta- tistics, is $29.45 per hour, or a salary of $61,270 per year. But that can fluctuate. Generally, police officers employed in northern states have a higher chance of receiving larger paychecks. Officers in the highest-paying states all received salaries well above the national aver- age, while officers in the lowest-paying states were far behind that benchmark. Some states, including North Carolina, have salaries well below the national average. Research indicated there is a variety of contradictory information among reliable law enforcement sources regarding wages. For purposes of this article, Up & Coming Weekly relied on the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. e Tar Heel state is among the 10 low- est-paying states for law enforcement wages. e average wage is $42,980. is salary falls below the national median household income of $53,889. Police patrol officers are usually in higher demand than sheriff 's deputies or correctional officers. ere were 5,738 job openings for patrol officers posted online in 2016, and the BLS re- ports that job opportunities are greater in areas with larger populations. e starting pay for an inexperienced Fayetteville police officer is signifi- cantly less than the entry-level sal- ary for a Cumberland County deputy sheriff, $34,489 versus $39,237. e starting wage for detention officers at the county jail is now $36,500, $2,000 a year more than city police officers. "e wage disparity for the city of Fayetteville P.D. has always been a big concern for me since joining the police department," said Police Chief Gina Hawkins. "I have been in discussions with the city manager in reviewing the salaries for sworn personnel." Noncompetitive wages have cost the city. Hawkins said 59 officers left the police department in 2019, significant- ly more than the yearly average. "On any given year, we prepare for approxi- mately 38 officers to leave the organi- zation," Hawkins said. She added that retirements, leaving for other jurisdic- tions, federal/state opportunities, dis- ciplinary issues, resignations, personal issues, contribute to turnover. e cur- rent city police department authorized strength of sworn officers is 434. Candidates looking to stand out from the competition may want to consider pursuing a bachelor's degree. Being able to speak a second language can also be a big plus for police depart- ments that serve diverse communi- ties. When recruiting, Hawkins said, "We look at more than just salaries and starting wages. We look at many other retention incentives such as (a) housing incentive that was approved by City Council in revitalized areas in city limits." Additional pay for a college educa- tion is available in the city. An officer with a Bachelor's degree earns an additional $2,500 per year. ose with an associate's degree receive an extra $1,250 a year. e city of Fayetteville isn't very competitive with other towns and cities within driving distance. Start- ing pay at communities with openings for police officers in Southern Pines is $37,300 a year; Raleigh $41,000; Apex $43,000; Cary $45,600; and Garner $45,000. Law enforcement faces wage disparity by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS The Tar Heel state is among the 10 lowest-paying states for law enforcement wages. The average wage is $42,980. CAN'T BEAT $ARAH THE JACKPOT GROWS BY $25 EACH DAY SARAH ISN'T BEATEN! POWERED BY: TUNE IN AT 6:10AM AND 8:10AM EVERY WEEKDAY!

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Up & Coming Weekly - March 03, 2020