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Flint increases hourly pay for police recruits

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Steve Carmody
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Michigan Radio
“We knew $11 wasn’t competitive at all,” Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley told reporters Monday, “$15 gets us into the range where we can compete with other law enforcement agencies as it relates to training dollars.”

In hopes of attracting more police recruits, the city of Flint is increasing what it pays to recruits while they’re in training.

Mayor Sheldon Neeley says the city is increasing hourly pay for police recruits to $15, up from $11 an hour, where it’s been since 2005.

“We knew $11 wasn’t competitive at all,” Neeley told reporters Monday, “Fifteen dollars gets us into the range where we can compete with other law enforcement agencies as it relates to training dollars.”

While acknowledging that fast food workers in Flint can make the same hourly wage, Neeley insists it’s meant to be an inducement to those who already want a career in law enforcement.

“I want to wear that uniform. I want to be able to serve my neighbors and my friends and my family well,” said Neeley, “This $15 an hour gets them to that particular point that says we can do it.”

Flint currently has five recruits taking part in a regional training program. City officials would like to attract enough recruits to fill 15 vacant positions in the Flint police department. The city’s police department may have additional openings to fill as some on the force are nearing retirement.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.