PATASKALA, Ohio — Pataskala Police have been facing an ongoing staffing issue the last few years.
365体育投注开户"Retention is one of our largest issues," Det. Bradley Ramsey said.
Ramsey has been with the department the last 15 years. In that time, he says it's been a struggle to maintain officers.
"We serve, typically, as a stepping stone department," he said. "Our typical hire comes from the academy. Fresh out of the academy. We provide them with the best training we possibly can."
New officers are inexperienced but are trained to the best of the department's ability. Ramsey says they are content until they look at their pay checks.
"And, eventually, that hunger drives them to start looking at those other agencies," Ramsey said.
In the past four years, Ramsey says 11 officers have left the department for opportunities with other agencies.
365体育投注开户"It's tough for a younger officer coming in to really want to make roots here in Pataskala and stay when they can go next door and double their money," Ramsey said.
365体育投注开户Ramsey says the Ohio State Employment Relations Board (SERB) offers a look at surrounding agencies and their yearly starting salaries. Some of the higher ones are Whitehall at $61,164, Dublin at $59,054, Hilliard at $62,071 and Westerville at $61,838. Agencies on the lower side of the pay scale are Heath at $45,467, Pataskala at $41,288 and Granville at $40,581.
"We have to do something to be able to maintain and keep those officers that we're training," Ramsey said.
An issue on March's ballot will allow the people of Pataskala to possibly help.
A one-half percent income tax, if passed, would bring in about $3 million every year to the department for equipment and training. Ramsey says it would also add up to five officers in two years, which would put the department at full staff and will boost morale, as well as the desire for officers to want to stay in Pataskala.
365体育投注开户"We have officers in agencies saying 'Hey, if you guys get your pay squared away and your retention and things like that we want to come work for you'," Ramsey said.