Chief details pay increase plans for VPD

Published 11:50 am Monday, May 13, 2024

Last week, Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. rolled out a plan to increase pay for city employees over the next six to eight months. During Monday’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Chief of Police Penny Jones gave more insight into the plan for those raises at the Vicksburg Police Department (VPD).

“I am thrilled to share exciting updates regarding the annual salaries for our officers at the Vicksburg Police Department,” Jones said. “These changes are designed not only to benefit our current officers, but to certified officers, bolstering our team and enhancing public safety within our community.”

Flaggs said last week that the planned phases of pay increases that include VPD would not take effect until being approved by the full Board of Mayor and Aldermen – which means putting off a vote until after the likely May 30 runoff election to fill the city’s vacant Ward 1 seat. With that obstacle cleared, Jones said, raises for VPD would take effect on July 1.

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Jones said, under the new plan, newly recruited officers would start at an annual salary of $42,370. Incoming officers currently make $18.12 per hour, or $40,407.60 annually. Jones said the new pay schedule would include an increase in annual salary to $44,600 for officers following his or her first year on the job, as well as for current officers with one to five years of experience. Officers with more than five years of experience will earn $47,000 annually under the new plan.

Other changes include $50,000 annual compensation for supervisors and pay incentives for officers furthering his or her education.

“Officers who consider furthering their education with an increase in pay will receive a payment for a degree from a university or from a community college,” Jones said. “Which means, if they decide they want to further their education and go to college, whether it is community college, whether it is a university, they will be compensated for that.”

Jones said the new pay schedules are meant to not only provide adequate compensation for current VPD employees, but also to work as an incentive for attracting new and experienced officers and other personnel.

“We are committed to ensuring that our officers feel valued and compensated fairly for their hard work and dedication,” she said. “Our goal is to become the law enforcement employer of choice in central Mississippi.”