Scottsdale PD says pay raise for officers is paying off

At their peak, Scottsdale Police had about 40 unfilled positions. They’re now down to 20 vacancies
Published: Nov. 19, 2023 at 10:37 PM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Scottsdale Police say they’ve cut their vacancies in half after bumping up salaries in 2022.

Chief Jeff Walther says they had to find more ways to attract candidates after police departments nationwide were losing workers during the pandemic. Last year, they decided to increase starting police officer salaries by about $3,000 to nearly $67,000. Since then, they’ve had 50% more people applying.

“The more officers I have to fill those squads the quicker our response times are,” Walther said. “I think we found right away that it paid dividends for us.”

At their peak, Scottsdale Police had about 40 unfilled positions. They’re now down to 20 vacancies. They also added a 5% annual salary increase. That means just seven years into a job, officers can max out their salary at just under $100,000. “My officers can say I know what I am getting next year in my raise they year after the year after and I know exactly when I’ll top out.”

Other positions in the department got a raise as well last year. They also have a similar pay raise structure each year. Chief Walther says they can better serve the community when they have more people on staff. “If you don’t have enough officers to respond to those calls bad guys know that,” he said. “I think that goes hand in hand with the crime.”

Since raising the pay, Walther says more people from across the country have started applying. He says officers with experience who transfer in will not have to start at the base pay. They can make what their experience dictates. “They initially look at what’s the salary? And is it competitive with other agencies in the Valley,” Walther said. “We’ve got to always remain competitive.”

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