Fayetteville Police Force Losing Officers to More Money
Posted July 14, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
FAYETTEVILLE — The Fayetteville Police Department is having some difficulty keeping its officers around. Currently, the department has more than 20 vacancies, and a total of eight officers have left the force just in the past two weeks. Five of them went to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department where starting pay can be thousands of dollars more a year.
Fayetteville Police Chief Ron Hansen says he is "stuck" because he can't blame people for leaving his force for better paying police jobs.
"When they can go to border patrol, or the SBI, or ATF, naturally it's career advancement, but along with it comes considerable money." said Hansen.
But it's not always for better jobs. Often, it'sjustfor better money. Hansen says many of his officers have taken similar positions as deputies with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office. The starting salary there can be up to $4,000 more per year.
Currently there is a shortage of 20 officers on the police force. Hansen must rely on his officers to work overtime to make sure all the streets of Fayetteville are properly patrolled.
He says low pay is a problem with many city forces here in North Carolina and across the country.
"I think the government is going to have to step in, help with wages, perhaps some type of police corps," said Hansen.
City Manager Roger Stancil says the city just completed a survey of other cities and found officers pay in Fayetteville to be about six percent off. As a result, officers already on the force were given a five percent pay raise.
Stancil says the bigger problem is that Cumberland County is a low wealth county and the sheriffs office pays above average. That, he says, is why a lot of officers are leaving.