Chesapeake officers to get raises

Published 8:59 am Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Village votes to rescind proposed renewal of fire levy

CHESAPEAKE — Police officers serving the village of Chesapeake will be getting a raise.

The village council voted 6-0 on Monday to approve an across the board raise of $1.50 an hour.

Interim police chief Randy Thompson had pitched the need for increased pay for officers at last month’s council meeting.

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Mayor Tommy Templeton asked Thompson to open this week’s meeting with his pitch for the raise from the current $10 an hour.

Thompson said he had abandoned his original idea of a graduated pay scale in favor of the $1.50 raise, which would amount to $229.24 for the village.

“If we continue to be the lowest paid department in the county, we’re going to have trouble recruiting officers,” Thompson said. “With what’s going on in society, police officers should not be working for $10 an hour.”

Thompson said the raise would be paid for with income brought in the by the department.

“And we would not have to touch the drug seizure money, which is used for supplies and  equipment,” he said, of the funds the department had amassed from a major bust in the village last year.

Thompson said the $1.50 increase would be a good start to building up the department.

“No one’s life is worth $11.50 an hour, but this at least gives them some compensation.”

Council member Kenny Wolfe then asked for discussion.

“What do you think?” he said. “Can we afford what he’s asking for.”

“I believe we can,” Templeton said.

Wolfe then put forth the motion, which was approved unanimously, with no dissenting discussion.

Templeton then addressed needs for the department, asking for approval to purchase supplies.

The council voted unanimously to purchase a new radar for a police cruiser at $1,695, as well as push bumpers and tasers.

Templeton also requested Hepatitis A shots for the entire department, which he said would cost $75 a piece. He noted that Thompson has already received one.

“If they can’t get it through insurance, it’s something we’ve got to provide,” he said. “We have to.”

The council approved the shots, 6-0.

Templeton then raised the issue of renewing the fire department funding levy, which the council took steps last month to place on the fall ballot.

He said, after looking into it, that the levy was not needed until 2019 and he asked council to rescind the request, which they did, 6-0.

In other business, the council:

• Discussed traffic impacts from the removal of a failing traffic light at the end of Big Branch Road.

The light had been damaged by a lightning strike in recent months and the council voted to remove it last month, until parts for a repair to the box, of which it is an older model, could be located.

• Discussed the idea of a ban on signs being posted on utility poles in the village.

• Voted to purchase a time clock for the village for $200.

• Voted to give a raise of $0.50 an hour to Josh Cooper, head of the village street department.