YOUNGSVILLE, La. (KLFY) – The Youngsville Police Department is just one of several agencies in Acadiana that feel their officers are underpaid, and Chief of Police Rickey Boudreaux is working to raise awareness about the issue.
Boudreaux said officers put their lives on the line for just over 15 dollars an hour.
“Where else in this world besides military does someone have to strap on a ballistic vest everyday to go to work,” said Boudreaux.
And still, there are other agencies in surrounding communities that get paid even less.
“After deductions for insurance, taxes, and if he has to put a little bit into retirement he’s only clearing about $565 every two weeks,” said Boudreaux.
Many officers are forced to take on a second job and work several hours of overtime just to make ends meet.
“In the 20 years that I”ve been doing this, there’s not a month that went by that I haven’t had to work extra,” said an anonymous officer.
Not to mention the several officers that have families to support.
“We don’t go out to eat as a family as much. It’s kind of funny, I guess it’s a known joke, that we take our kids to eat in shifts because I can’t afford to take all of them to eat at one time,” said an anonymous officer.
And this issue doesn’t just apply to this agency.
“That’s why I’m doing this, raise awareness. Every department across the region will tell you police officer pay and it’s always at the bottom of the ladder, there’s always other things,” said Boudreaux.
Boudreaux said educators and public safety are always at the bottom of the barrel and he hopes the council can find a way to help.
“Being able to find funds somewhere through the state, through the feds, something to be able to help these guys out to make a decent living is something that has to be addressed.”
Boudreaux will address city officials at the next city council meeting on February 9th.