Panama City offering pay raise to bring in new PCPD officers

Panama City police officers and other city employees are receiving a 4.5% pay raise.
Panama City police officers and other city employees are receiving a 4.5% pay raise.
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 7:10 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Panama City Police Chief Mark Smith is working like many departments across the country to hire more officers.

“It’s the manpower,” Smith said. “It’s getting the officers up into those areas because as you come into Panama City you expect a service and we want to continue to provide that great service to the new folks who are coming in to us.”

Smith is trying to get the PCPD to 116 police officers on its force.

They’re currently down 15 officers.

“Anytime you can offer more money then you start getting more people’s attention,” Smith said.

That’s why Panama City Commissioners approved a 4.5% pay raise on Tuesday that went into effect immediately.

It’s for city employees across the board including the police department.

Smith said the yearly income for someone coming to the police department without any experience will be around $43,000 a year with benefits.

“Even a single person coming to the city gets free insurance for health and dental insurance,” Smith said. “There’s also take-home cars and college reimbursement.”

Officials said the agency is in need of more officers, dispatch workers, and others as the city grows in size.

“There’s a large amount of apartment complexes being built to the north as well as within the city, so we’ve got to be prepared for that as the growth takes place,” Smith said.

The police chief said they would like to get to 116 officers, but they are budgeted for more if enough people apply.

He also said there are sub-branches within the police department, so if positions aren’t filled right away, adjustments can be made to ensure all grounds are covered.

You can apply on the city’s website if you’re interested in joining the PCPD.

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