By Erica Thomas, managing editor
LEEDS — The city of Leeds hopes changes for first responders will mean better employee retention and boosted morale across the police and fire departments.
During a teleconference city council meeting on Monday, April 6, 2020, the city council approved a 15% cost-of-living raise for first responders and approved the purchase of five new patrol vehicles for the police department.
Mayor David Miller said the raise will be permanent.
“This will help with the quality of people we attract and will help with the problem we have been having keeping good people,” said Miller. “Our pay scale was kind of low in the county but this will bring us up near the top in the county.”
Police Chief Jim Atkinson said he is excited about the support the council has shown his department.
“It will boost our morale and help with our recruiting,” said Atkinson.
The mayor said the new 2020 Chevrolet Tahoes will mean officers on patrol will be able to take their cars home.
“They will be able to drive the cars home which means there will be more visibility and police cars in neighborhoods throughout Leeds,” said Miller.
The raise, for police and fire, will go into effect in the next pay period. It will be for ranks of sergeant and below.