Board Raises Pay For Police Officers

The Bourbon City Council on September 24 voted to raise the starting pay for police officers to $14.50 per hour.

The rate was raised from $12.50 per hour.

New Mayor Dave Lafferty initiated the discussion, saying that a pay increase may entice officers with more experience and encourage them to stay in Bourbon.

“Bourbon can afford it,” Lafferty said when questioned by Ward 2 Alderwoman Mary Heywood if the money was in the budget.

“I think it would be an improvement,” he said. Lafferty argued that the current system provides a pay increase without officers having to meet any sort of performance level. “They know they are getting a raise regardless after six months. This way, the better job you do, the more money you get.”

Heywood pointed out that raising it to $14.50 would actually be raising it closer to $20 when factoring in payroll taxes.

“I don’t think they see that unless it’s broken down like that,” Heywood said.

She asked Police Chief Paul Satterfield if his budget could sustain the increases. Satterfield said he would have to review it, but the city needed to do something.

“It would be a step in the right direction,” he said, noting that starting pay for municipalities on either side of Bourbon begin around $20 per hour.

The department lost two officers in the last month.

“I don’t think $30,000 per year is too much to ask for,” said Ward 2 Alderman Carl Hammack.

Lafferty said Bourbon is losing money on training officers, only to watch them move to another city. 

“I want to get them to live in Bourbon and care more about the city,” he said. “If we make it more attractive and encourage them to live in Bourbon, they will be more tied to the community. It will be a stronger bond than if they don’t live here.”

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