Smyrna will increase police salaries

Smyrna Police Department sign (Photo by Larry Felton Johnson, Cobb County Courier)

The city of Smyrna has announced in a public information statement that it will increase the starting salary of police officers and address the problem of “wage compression” in the police administration.

Wage compression occurs when the wages of entry-level employees in a particular job classification are too close to that of senior employees. In some cases, this can lead to newly hired staff starting at a higher pay scale than existing staff.

This can cause dissatisfaction and loss of staff, as the incentive to stay at work is reduced.

The increase in the salary scale and the adjustments for salary compression are the result of a study conducted by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia.

The city’s public information statement described the extent of the work being carried out by the Carl Vinson Institute regarding the Smyrna Police Department as follows:

City leadership asked the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia to conduct a small group study on policing – part of a larger city-wide study currently underway. course – and analyze how Smyrna ranks against other jurisdictions. As part of that process, the study focused on submissions from the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and reached out to those organizations for updates to the compensation amounts reported earlier this year. The Carl Vinson Institute also applied an aging factor to the amounts to make them more consistent with the current situation. The analysis found that the city of Smyrna was lagging behind the market and still one of the lowest paid, even after the four percent rating adjustment made a few weeks ago. The study also confirmed the compression of wages within the police department. The Carl Vinson Institute presented the city of Smyrna with a plan to manage the starting salary and cutback based on these results.

The cost will be approximately $ 94,000 to raise the wages of 35 employees to the new minimum level and $ 150,000 to increase the wages of 66 employees to relieve the wage compression. There were 87 employees in the study, so some employees received an adjustment based on both the salary scale change and the salary compression adjustment.

The change comes into effect with the pay period starting November 15, 2021 and will be paid from the reserves of the General Fund.

The round of salary increases is part of a larger study of Smyrna government compensation by the Carl Vinson Institute, and further recommendations are expected in January 2022.

The Smyrna Police Department was first considered due to a lack of staff within the SPD.

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