Moss Point Police Department Raises Salaries

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - In a time when money is tight, it's rare to hear of anyone getting a raise. But now, Moss Point police officers and dispatchers are happy to get just that.

"Everyone in the department is very excited about the raise," officer Johnny Vaughn said. "It is a very good incentive to keep a lot of officers and to bring in a lot of officers. It helps the department become more competitive."

Officers now earn an additional $2.50 an hour, and dispatchers get an extra $1.50 each hour. Both work twelve hour shifts, so that money will up quickly.

The new salaries are more competitive with those of other police departments in South Mississippi. City officials are excited about how the raise will help not only police officers, but Moss Point as a whole.

New Moss Point Police Chief Sheila Smallman facilitated the raise.

"It will increase their morale, let them be happier to come to work, let them know there are incentives, and I am willing to get them better pay and improve their working environment," Smallman said.

The increase is one of the first changes by Chief Smallman since she took office in June.

Mayor Xavier Bishop said, "It sends the message throughout the city, throughout the coast that Moss Point continues to be a player in the employment field; that we can continue to be competitive."

Mayor Bishop thinks the raise is a positive thing for Moss Point.

"What it does is send a signal to the officers that the incoming chief is very sensitive to their concerns, and obviously pay is on the mind of everyone," bishop said.

The pay raise couldn't come at a better time.

"There were a few officers that were thinking about leaving because of the pay, but I think that problem has been solved," Vaughn said.

The problem was solved without having to spend an extra penny.  Extra funds already existed in the police department budget, because of several unfilled positions within the department.  Now the funds allocated to those vacant positions are being used to fund the raises.