Citing competition with other agencies, the Rome City Commission on Monday unanimously approved a pay hike for more than 250 police officers and firefighters.
The above graphic breaks down the pay increases and the impact on the city budget. City Manager Sammy Rich pitched the increase, adding concerns about turnover (14 vacancies within Rome Police; four openings in the fire department). The issue has been discussed by the city’s public safety committee as well as the Floyd County Commission.
During the discussion, Mayor Bill Collins acknowledged fellow commissioners’ concerns about ensuring other city employees also benefit from salary review and potential increases. Those points were raised by Mark Cochran and Jamie Doss.
Assistant Chief of Police Debbie Burnett got a bit emotional in telling the commission what the increase will mean to the staff, including keeping good people throughout their law enforcement careers. She looked at fire officials also in the room and said together, the five of them have more than 150 years of service to the community.
Fire Chief Troy Brock agreed, stating it will help with both recruitment and retention.
You can watch the vote here, beginning at the 1:19 mark.