Reinstated bonus program, salary increases for police department

Published 11:03 am Wednesday, February 10, 2016

During Citizen’s Time of Monday night’s City Council meeting, it was brought up that at the last council meeting during closed session, the topic of giving the Franklin Police Department salary increases and reinstating the bonus program was discussed. The council later came out of closed session and voted to approve and adopt these motions.

Ward 3 representative Greg McLemore spoke on how he was out of town last meeting, but during his absence, the council had made a motion to give the police department salary increases.

“I have gotten calls from several employees regarding to how City Council approved pay raises or increases to the police department and the public employees didn’t receive any kind of increases.

“Now I know that unless I bring this up for the public to hear, the public will never know anything as to what went on, why it went on, how it happened or anything. The same way as since I wasn’t at the meeting I don’t know,” he said. “Since now I want to know what’s going on as a council person I wish that whatever you can share with the public that is not confidential information, I would ask for an amendment to share that information.”

Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn responded, “I would just like to say for the public’s benefit, that all of our actions are included in our minutes, which are public documents.”

The meeting then went on to the amendments to the agenda section of the meeting, and McLemore said that he would like to make an amendment to the agenda to have the council discuss the pay increases that were given to the police department. However, no other council person seconded this, so no discussion or addition to the agenda was entertained.

According to the minutes from the Jan. 25 meeting, City Manager Randy Martin had made four recommendations to council regarding this subject:

• reinstate the bonus program aimed at enhancing police officer recruiting efforts by offering a one-time signing bonus to certified police officer candidates who are hired in the amount of $5,000, and to institute a non-certified police officer recruit one-time signing bonus of $3,000 when they are hired;

• to reinstate the tuition reimbursement police use contingent upon funding to be allocated in the budget;

• to amend the police of the city regarding the use of officer take home vehicles to allow discretion to the administration to modify the police when necessary to benefit other recruitment and retention efforts; and

• to adopt a revised Police Officer salary structure effective immediately which increases the minimum, middle and maximum pay grades for each position by $5,000 with each sworn police officer receiving a $5,000 increase in annual salary commencing the next payroll period.

“This salary adjustment is being implemented to improve certified retention efforts,” the minutes stated.

This motion was approved in 6 to 0 vote by council, as Councilman McLemore was absent.