BREAUX BRIDGE, La. (KLFY) – After recently losing three officers to neighboring agencies, Breaux Bridge Police Chief Rollie Cantu is looking to increase the starting salary for his officers.
As of now, post-certified police officers in Breaux Bridge start out making $13 an hour;
That’s compared to more than $15 an hour in Youngsville and close to $18 an hour in Broussard.
Chief Cantu says, “Times are hard and they can go to another department making a dollar, two dollars more an hour, if you do the math you’re talking about thousands of dollars at the end of the year.”
That’s why Chief Cantu wants to give his officers more than a dollar increase, which results in a nearly $4,000 annual raise.
“It’s just something to try to keep our officers here and attract officers to this department,” Cantu told News 10.
Breaux Bridge Mayor Rick Calais says he understands the pressure Chief Cantu is under to hire qualified officers.
He told the chief he will make every attempt possible to incorporate his requests in the upcoming budget.
“I’ll make every attempt to try and include as much, if not all of the increase pay scale into the budget but it will not be easy,” Calais said.
The mayor also says in order to meet the needs of the police department and complete other proposed projects around the city,
The city needs to increase its revenue; one idea is adding a new tax district.
“I felt it was my responsibility to at least start the dialog in trying to pursue additional revenue that might get us closer to some of those dreams,” Calais said.
Mayor Calais is hoping to get input from the public as the council discusses the idea of new tax districts.
The next council meeting will be April 12, 2017.