City of Minden OKs incentives for police officers

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The City of Minden has approved an incentive system to compensate Minden Police Officers who meet certain qualification standards.

The nascent incentive system might not be enough to alleviate concerns from officers regarding low wages and rising insurance costs, but Minden’s Chief of Police Steve Cropper says these incentives are a proper place to begin in easing the burden.

“It’s a start,” Cropper said. “These guys are starving to death, and anything will help a little bit; this isn’t going to solve the problem or get us to the point that we’re competitive with other offices, but it gives our guys a little faith that the city is trying to do something for them.”

Officers stand to earn salary increases for possessing a college degree: $100 per month, Associate Degree; $150 per month, Bachelor Degree; $200 per month, Master Degree.

Pay increases are also available for officers certified in firearms instruction ($75), Intoxilizer certified ($50), CPR certified ($50) and Highway Inderdiction certified ($25). There is a $25 monthly pay increase available for officers who complete their annual criminal law update and a $50 per month raise for officers being promoted to detective.

The pay scale mimics those employed in nearby Haughton at the Haughton Police Department. Cropper consulted with Haughton PD before bringing the incentive scale to the city council workshop last month.

“We were losing so many officers to Haughton PD,” Cropper said. “Their starting salary is a little higher than our starting salary, but because of their incentive programs they were more appealing. It just gives guys an opportunity to make a little more.”

Also taking effect in April, all city police officers who rely on their personal cell phone for city business will be reimbursed at the rate of $30 per month. This does not apply to any officer who has been issued a city phone.

Minden Mayor Tommy Davis said hopefully this is the first of more steps the city can take better compensate officers.

“This is one step and we hope to take others,” Davis said. “This is one way we can help them with income, and things like CPR certification are good things for all our officers to have and criminal law updates are done every year; all these are steps in the right direction.”

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