A pay study for Flowery Branch completed by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government proposes a compensation adjustment for the city’s police department that would bring them to a market rate.
Police Chief David Spillers said the council has the full power to implement it fully or in part.
“I’m not expecting a $40,000 earmark … or any particular number. My request has been that you don’t put us in a position where we cannot be competitive within this industry to attract talent,” he said.
According to a data table provided by City Clerk Melissa McCain, the listed new salary and adjustment puts newer officers near $43,000, while the base salary in July 2018 for those officers was between $39,000 and $41,000.
The proposed compensation adjustment comes at a time when local law enforcement agencies are trying to increase pay and stay a step ahead of the competition.
Gainesville Police now advertises $42,000 as starting pay on its social media, while recent raises at the Hall County Sheriff’s Office put the base pay close to $40,000.
Mayor Mike Miller and council members Mary Jones and Joe Anglin did not return requests for comment on the pay study.
“As the chief, I hope that they will look upon us favorably and vote to implement the study, because these guys work hard at doing what they do. They’re willing to put their lives on the line every day and every night for these citizens, and I think that it’s morally the right thing to do.”
The city is also in the midst of a housing boom, which will likely bring thousands of new people to Flowery Branch. Spillers said he needs to have at least one officer per 1,000 to “adequately staff and operate public safety functions.”