The Crowley Police Department operates with a base pay that is lower than similar agencies in the area. The department has experienced some recent turn over as a result.
Crowley Police Chief K. P. Gibson says, “We’re trying to stop the bleeding. That’s probably the nicest way to put it.”
Recent exit interviews show that most of the officers leaving the Crowley Police Department cited starting pay, which is around 24,000 dollars a year. Neighboring agencies offer several hundred dollars more a month. Chief Gibson says replacing those officers is no easy task. “You have to be very cautious, a person’s freedom or life can be taken in a matter of seconds and you have to trust you’re putting the right people in those jobs.”
Crowley PD is currently understaffed and some officers even work extra to make ends meet at home. Like Chief Gibson, local residents can sympathize with an officer struggling financially.
Lonnie Tarver, a local resident, says, “They put their life on the line every day. i think they should work the minimum hours so they can stay alert and on their toes to protect everybody, and I don’t think they should be doing extra detail on their own time like that just to make ends meet.”
Gibson wants to offer a base salary that will improve retention at the department and compete with the starting pay of similar-sized police forces. He says his goal is to provide a means for officers to support their families. “They’re not asking to get rich they’re not asking to bring us up 20 thousand dollars an officer per year in salary. They’re just asking for comparable pay.”
The Crowley City Council will discuss the pay raise at a committee meeting May 6th.