MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Myrtle Beach police officers will start off the new year with a raise.
At its first meeting of the new year, the Myrtle Beach City Council approved a resolution that will increase the salaries of the staff at the Myrtle Beach Police Department. It is set to take effect on Friday.
City spokesperson Mark Kruea previously said sworn police personnel will get a 1.75 percent across the board salary adjustment, a percent merit adjustment and a 5 percent police pay adjustment.
The increase will adjust the salaries for those who might consider working for the MBPD.
According to information presented at Tuesday's meeting, the starting salaries for uncertified officers would climb from $36,245 to $40,000. Upon graduating from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, officers would receive a starting salary of $44,000, climbing from $39,706. Finally, the salary for a patrolman first class would rise from $41,437 to $46,000.
The pay increase is part a retention and recruitment plan, with the plan to add 70 additional staffers to the MBPD over the next seven years.
"Their workload compared to other police officers this side of the Mississippi is unbelievable," Councilman Mike Lowder said during Tuesday's meeting.
Existing revenues will cover the pay raises in this year's budget, but the step plan will require a three-mill tax increase in the 2018-19 fiscal year budget, which begins in July, according to a previous press release. Property taxes are expected to increase 4 percent if the proposal is approved.
Councilman Phil Render said Tuesday he supports the increase in salary for the initiative but wants the council to keep its eyes wide open when it comes to a funding mechanism.