Summerville first responders see pay increase

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) -

It’s been three months since the Town of Summerville approved a salary raise for its first responders.

Summerville Town Council voted in April to increase the salary for both police officers and fire department to keep them from taking higher paying jobs elsewhere.

The salary adjustment went into effect on July 1. Both the Summerville police and fire chiefs can attribute the pay increase to success.

Summerville Police Chief Jon Rogers said since this has been approved, the turnover rate has gone down and the moral has gone up.

With this salary adjustment, an entry-level police officer salary would go up an average of about $2700.

In 2017, about 25 percent of police officers and firefighters left their jobs, some of them going to other departments where they could make more money, according to a town compensation study.

Summerville Mayor Wiley Johnson said the town has lost millions of dollars in training because of the turnover.

Rogers say this will save the town money, but also time because more officers will be on the road working instead of training.

When it comes to moral, Rogers says he’s seen a big change and that’s not only going to help the department, but the people they serve.

“It’s more stable for them, more stable for their family, and more stable for the town,” said Rogers. “The less that we have to train people to get around town or learn our ways is the more people we can keep on the road and services that need to be done are being done and being done efficiently.”

Rogers said this isn’t the cure-all, but says it’s a start and they are going to keep moving forward.

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