Posted September 4, 2018
The most important role of any government – including Pensacola’s – is to provide public safety for its residents and businesses. Unfortunately, the city’s current administration has let citizens down by not supporting its law enforcement.
To provide effective service, the City of Pensacola needs 152 sworn police officers. For much of 2017 and 2018, we have had only 124 officers, which has left patrols uncovered in many neighborhoods.
While the department now has 138 officers and a plan to get to 152 in 2019, we will still have a fifth of the force with less than six months experience.
This has all occurred under the current administration.
Going forward we must support law enforcement by stemming the attrition and enhancing pay and training.
As Mayor, I will increase the salary for sworn personnel by 2% beyond the contracted increases, currently 4% for the next two years.
This 2% increase will cost approximately $250,000 annually and will be supported for all four years.
This money will be used for pay increases that will help retain current law enforcement and provide additional training for our new officers.
Next, we need to amend a policy that prevents recently retired officers who are still capable of meeting proficiency standards to serve as School Resource Officers (SROs). This will allow us to fill those positions without using current officers and reduce overtime pay.
These are two small steps we can take now to improve our public safety which is essential to building a stronger community.
Supporting funds and policies for retention and training of law enforcement is much more essential to our city than a $25,000 increase for the Mayor’s salary proposed by Brian Spencer in March of 2018.
This is the kind of leadership I will bring to the city — relentlessly focused on serving the citizens of Pensacola.