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State Agencies Looking For Law Enforcement, Firefigther Raises

Tampa Gator via Wikimedia Commons

It’s that time of year when agencies lay out their plans for the coming year—and more importantly—how much those plans will cost.  Two of them are looking to hand out raises.

Florida’s Highway Patrol is facing a shortfall in troopers, and it’s asking state lawmakers for a raise to help attract and retain officers.  Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles CFO Susan Carey says the agency needs about $17 million for the plan.

“This plan would increase the minimum salary for a sworn law enforcement officer to $42,000 and allow a trooper to move over a 20 year period to $60,000 annual rate of pay,” she explains.

Currently Florida’s Highway Patrol has more than 100 unfilled positions.  The agency’s request amounts to a roughly 10 percent salary increase for the lowest paid troopers. 

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services wants to increase starting salaries for its law enforcement officers and forestry firefighters.

“This year’s budget request seeks to recognize our hard working firefighters and law enforcement officers,” policy and budget director Derek Buchanan says, “by including $11 million to increase starting pay and improve retention of these positions.”

The request would increase starting salaries by $10,000 and give existing workers a raise of the same amount.  The agency employs 240 law enforcement officers and more than 600 firefighters.

Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.