Dothan Police Dept. Changes

The Dothan Police Department has found a way to compete with the pay and benefits of state positions.

What started out as an issue of imbalance is now being settled with promotions and position eliminations.

Dothan Police Chief John Powell said, "Several years back, there was a court action that inflated the positions of sergeant within the agency. We're going to use this opportunity with the vacancies that currently exist to downgrade."

Right now, there are two vacant sergeant positions.

Monday, the personnel board moved to downgrade the positions to corporal.

At the same time, the board also upgraded two officer positions to corporal which totals four new corporal positions that Dothan police officers will be promoted to.

The department is not adding any other personnel or position by promoting the four officers. In fact, if anything, it's a cost-savings.

By eliminating two of the sergeant positions, the agency will now save between $1,500 and $2,500.

The change also encourages more potential in the department.

"We need to try to educate and train the widest base possible for management positions in the agency. By doing this, that gives us more opportunity. Also, we need to try to address diversity issues inside the agency, such as female supervisors, minority supervisors, African American and Hispanic supervisors," said Chief Powell.

The police department has a total of eight corporal positions open and has already began testing for these promotions.

All of the corporal positions will be filled by officers already working at the Dothan PD.

Any money saved by this move will most likely stay within the police department and go toward overtime pay.