In an effort to reward and retain talent within the Sneads Police Department, local officers will receive a substantial salary increase.
“We love our police department, and we want to keep our police department,” explained Lee Garner, Sneads’ town manager.
Given that Sneads’ salaries often cannot compete with the salaries offered by other departments, the Sneads Police Department has difficulty retaining talented officers.
“We don’t want to be a training ground for other departments who pay more,” said Garner.
To maintain a quality law enforcement force in Sneads, the Sneads Town Council agreed to “do whatever necessary to maintain a competitive salary” with other police departments.
In response, local officers will receive over $10,000 in increased wages.
Garner explained that the town will be using Higher Education Emergency Relief funds (HERPA) to provide increased salaries for the next two years.
Through utilizing HERPA funds, the town can determine if “increased taxes or a police fee” will be needed in the following years.
In addition to the work of Town Manager Garner and the Sneads Town Council, recent statewide legislation will assist funding in local police departments.
Coming into effect on July 1st, 2022, House Bill 3 will provide law enforcement agencies with “additional tools to bolster the recruitment and retention of qualified officers by providing financial incentives, enhanced training, expanded educational opportunities, and recognition that honors law enforcement officers’ service to the state of Florida.
Following the implementation of this bill, local law enforcement agencies can further develop their programs through increased funding, resources, and retention.
Through the work of the Town Manager Garner, the Sneads Town Council, and the Florida Legislature, the Sneads Police Dept. can receive funding and resources to further develop into a competitive department.
Hannah Carter – Gadsden County News Service