DeKalb County commissioners asking for raise - CBS46 News

DeKalb County commissioners asking for raise

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners is asking for a raise despite not approving one for law enforcement officers and firefighters.

“They’re not supposed to go into it to get rich, they’re supposed to go in there to work for the people,” Taxpayer Faye Coffield said.

Jeff Wiggs is with the DeKalb Fraternal Order of Police. He said the county is losing more public safety personnel than they can hire. On average, DeKalb Police lose 10 officers a month.  Most seeking better-paying jobs.

“In order for us to serve the citizens we need to retain our police officers,” Wiggs said.

A letter obtained by CBS46 News was sent by the commissioners to state Senator Emanuel Jones. They say their part-time jobs are becoming full-time because they're working on so many issues.

“What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to make it possible so that elected officials that are not independently wealthy and have to support their families can justify putting enough time into this job to be able to make well-informed decisions,” Commissioner Jeff Rader said.

According to the letter, Commissioners are asking to earn about half of what a state superior court judge makes.  Right now commissioners make roughly $40,000 a year.  Rader would like to see them paid between $60,000 and $90,000 which is as much as 125% increase.  Commissioner Nancy Jester is the only who adamantly opposed the idea.

“It’s bad politics right now, it’s bad optics, it’s bad policy.  We have a deficit budget right now and we haven’t been able to give significant increases to our public safety employees,” Jester said.

In February, the commission approved a budget without raises for first responders. 

Commissioners say they'll take another look at possible raises for public safety officers later this year.  As for receiving their own raises, Senator Jones' staff said it's not going to happen.

View the letters

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