Jackson Mayor Frank Melton said Tuesday he wants to increase salaries for officers, and until he can do that he is putting future recruit classes on hold.
He said most police officers work part-time jobs to make ends meet, which adds to stress they already experience on their full-time jobs. Melton said he wants officers to come to work better rested and ready for duty.
Melton didn’t say how much of a raise he wants to give officers.
Some officers “can’t pay a light bill,” he said. “These men and women just don’t make enough money to sustain themselves.”
The starting salary for a Jackson police officer is $23,500, which increases to $28,000 after one year on duty. There are 15 women and five men in the department’s 40th recruit class that ends in September.
Melton said officers who make more money will perform at a higher level.