In The Mail

Friday, June 26, 2020

How much do we value our law enforcement officers?


Reading the last few articles about pay for various city and county employees has left me with a few questions and a few thoughts to share.

The salary of the city manager seems high to me, but that might only be because of my age and the fact I never earned that much. It seems fair to leave the salary for that position to the people who hire the person for that position. Although I do wonder if they would think that salary appropriate if it were their money and not taxpayer money funding that position.

Just a little curious about the $10,000 bonus they agreed to pay. Usually a bonus is determined by an employee meeting certain objective goals. Accomplishing certain tasks for instance. Was that what happened in this case? Or was it a more subjective measurement that can’t be quantified, such as “he seems a nice guy to me”?

It was seeing the reported salaries of other personnel that made me interested in this matter. I’m not sure of the exact figures, but I believe it said the salary for the sheriff is in the low $50,000 range. And beginning teachers and law enforcement officers approximately $38,000.

I find it interesting to read so many comments about how much we value our teachers and entrust them to care and provide an education for our children. And our law enforcement officers? Those men and women whose shifts cover 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Those who put their lives in danger each time they respond to a call for help. Those men and women who are often the first ones to a horrific accident, trying to save the lives of the injured. Who then go home and try to make sense of the brutality they have seen done to a child or spouse in a “domestic disturbance.”

These are the men and women we value. The ones to whom we give our thanks, our words of praise, and too often our condolences. It just seems a shame that in monetary terms we only value them about one fourth as much as a city manager.

Bill Broughton