The Kentucky State Police plans to significantly expand its recruiting efforts, spurred by pay increases approved this year by state lawmakers.
The $15,000 raise brings salaries for new soldiers to $55,000 a year. Increases have also been approved for current soldiers.
The increased starting salary for Troopers makes KSP one of the 10 highest-paying agencies in the state, said Trooper Corey King, public affairs manager for the Henderson KSP position.
“We were 74th,” King said.
Agencies across the state struggled to recruit and retain officers and raised salaries to attract applicants.
For example, the 2022-23 budget that Owensboro city officials discussed earlier this month includes a 15% increase for city police officers, double the increase for other city employees. the city.
The KSP pay raise “is the biggest selling point for us,” King said.
The agency also gives soldiers more choices about where they are assigned, allowing them to choose three potential positions.
“We (consider) anything we heard that might deter a candidate, like location,” King said. “Now we have a really competitive salary and the ‘choose three’, where you can choose three positions.”
In addition to attracting new recruits, the agency hopes to attract soldiers who have left the agency to go to other departments or the private sector, King said.
“One thing we’ve always done (well) is have a good work environment,” King said. “We had soldiers who said, ‘I hate to leave. I love the agency. I love brotherhood. ”
The KSP increases will cause other agencies to increase officer salaries as well, King said.
“It’s a very competitive market,” he says. “These people who apply, you want to recruit them into your agency, but also retain them.”
News of the increases sparked interest in the agency, King said.
“A lot of people are at least aware of it,” he said. “They say, ‘you deserve it,’ and that leads to more questions” on the app.
Whether the raises are having the desired effect on recruitment will not be known immediately.
“We will see success in the years to come,” King said. “It will take some time, not only to receive applications, but also to do background checks and get (recruits) through the academy.”
James Mayse, 270-691-7303, [email protected], Twitter: @JamesMayse