July 28, 2020–7:54 a.m.
Rome Police officers and firefighters are getting a pay raise.
On Monday, the Rome City Commission approved a recommendation from the public safety committee to raise salaries to help with recruitment and retention of officers and firefighters.
Currently, the Rome Police Department has 14 vacant positions while the fire department has four.
The last pay adjustment for police was in 2014.
The salary for non-certified police recruits will be $38,000 and $39,000 for certified with no experience.
Certified officers with at least a year of experience will be paid $40,000 a year.
The current salaries are $32,000 to $34,000, which is lower than surrounding municipalities.
For instance, the City of Calhoun’s average salary for officers is just over $39,000 while it is nearly $37,000 in Cartersville.
The raises could help alleviate another concern as the city invests in the training of new officers then loses some of those officers to other police departments that pay better.
In 2019, six officers took jobs with other agencies.
The total 2020 budget impact of the proposed pay increases is close to $239,000 for police and nearly $408,000 for fire.