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Jemison Police Department pay scale increased

By J.R. TIDWELL / Editor

The Jemison City Council unanimously approved an adjustment to the base pay scale for members of the city’s police department during its meeting Jan. 6.

The base rate was increased $2.23 an hour. Both Mayor Eddie Reed and Jemison Police Chief Shane Fulmer mentioned this step was to help with “recruitment and retention” of officers.

“Our pay scale was adopted seven years ago,” Fulmer said. “In order to benefit recruiting we needed to update it, and the City Council was gracious enough to revisit it.”

Fulmer said the biggest issue was the starting salary was not sufficient when it came to attracting new officers to join the department when other surrounding agencies may have offered more. The Chilton County Sheriff’s Office recently saw an increase in base pay, for example.

“The mayor and I have discussed the issue, and it needed to be changed,” Fulmer said. “They have agreed to look at (the pay rate) every year now instead of waiting seven. We need to stay competitive.”

During the meeting several Council members voiced their appreciation for the work the Jemison Police Department does, with Mayor Reed and Councilman Rex Bittle speaking at length praising Fulmer and his officers’ efforts.

“Due to the amount of training Chief Fulmer has them undertake they really stand out,” Mayor Reed said. “I think we may have the most educated force in the county.”

Mayor Reed thanked Chief Fulmer for his work, adding that he believed Jemison has one of the best police departments in the state.

Bittle said “they’ve earned it” and “deserve it” during the discussion before voting to increase the officer pay rate.

During the discussion Fulmer also spoke highly of the officers in his department as well as the members of the City Council for the work they have done for Jemison.

The vote on adjusting the pay scale was the only major item on the night’s agenda, but during the meeting the Council also voted to approve the minutes from the Dec. 2 meeting and to pay the bills.