March 13, 2018 11:33 PM
The city of White Bear Lake is hoping a bump in police officer pay will allow its police department to find new and keep existing police officers.
Recruiting and retaining officers in the current climate is becoming increasing more difficult for departments across the state, officials say.
In an attempt to counteract that difficulty, White Bear Lake approved a 2.75 percent wage increase for all patrol officers. The city with a population of just over 25,000 also raised the starting pay of the position more than $3,000 to $ 50,500. That averages to a new monthly rate of $4,208.
Still, White Bear Lake police pay lags behind some other metro departments. By comparison, Mendota Heights, with a population of just over 11,000, pays its officers an average monthly salary of $5,080.
"(City officials) understood that we may be at the lower end of the pay scale metro-wide for agencies that are comparable to ours," said White Bear Lake police Captain Dale Hager. "And so I think they wanted to make it more attractive to newer officers to apply here."
Dave Metusalem, of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, says other cities may follow White Bear Lake's pay hike to attract and keep officers.
"Hopefully it catches on," Metusalem said. "I think it's in response to what I'm hearing statewide and nationwide about shortage in recruiting police officers, and a lot of that is significantly connected to pay and benefits."
How does White Bear Lake police pay stack up?
(average monthly officer pay, according to each department)
Updated: March 13, 2018 11:33 PM
Created: March 13, 2018 04:30 PM
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