LPD says it’s losing trained officers due to low salary

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- The Lafayette Police Department says it’s losing trained officers to departments willing to pay more. Lafayette Police administration wants a pay plan put into place.

The department calculates losing 32 officers in 2018 and 24 officers in 2019; with only a few being retirements.

Deputy Chief Reginald Thomas says he losing officers to other agencies because of pay. “I want to keep my officers. That’s why we have to come out front,” Thomas said.

Thomas says Lafayette police officers among other agencies are offered the lowest starting pay of $34,600. “Everyone else is at least $40,000 to start. So you can imagine me trying to sell my police department to say this is where you’re supposed to be.”

The deputy chief says the LPD spends about $80,000 from the police academy to training. Thomas says losing an officer takes a on toll on his department. “Every time the state police has an academy we lose three to five officers,” Thomas said.

Thomas is calling on the council to allow for the creation of a pay plan to show officers where they’re going financially. “Where officers can see in ten years that I will be making this. If I get promoted, I will be making this amount,” Thomas added.

“I’m trying to get us to an area where the department can compete,” D’eputy Chief Thomas explained.

Thomas is also asking the council for a pay study to show where Lafayette police should be based on the city’s demographics and size.

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