Police pay raises pay off for Natchez

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Natchez is reaping the benefits of a pay raise aldermen approved last year for entry-level Natchez police officers.

When the city enacted the pay raise last September, taking entry-level pay for police officers, with or without training or prior experience, from $13 per hour to $15.50, the city had 35 positions and eight vacancies.

Now, all but three of those vacancies are filled.

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The pay raises were worth the expenditure, especially in a city such as Natchez that last year experienced 12 murders.

The last thing the city needs is an understaffed, inexperienced police force working to serve and protect, keep the peace, investigate crimes and arrest suspects.

Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong has said many of the new officers came onboard with experience and training, not only saving the city the expense of having to pay for the officers’ training, but also benefitting from the officers’ prior experience.

The raises were necessary to compete with pay scales in neighboring communities.

The pay raises have helped fill the manpower void in the police department, and we are hopeful that they will help make Natchez a safer place to live.