The salary of a soldier in Arkansas is lower than that of its neighbors

Data: TBEN research; Chart: TBEN Visuals

Arkansas State Police’s starting salary is the third lowest compared to its neighboring states, according to a TBEN analysis.

What is happening: Arkansas State Police Superintendent Bill Bryant wants to raise the annual starting salary for soldiers by $10,000 or more, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.

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Why is this important: State police help provide public safety on state and federal highways, often outside the jurisdiction of city police departments.

By the numbers: The starting salary for Arkansas recruits while in training is $42,537.

  • Bryant told the committee he would like to raise the salary to between $52,000 and $55,000.

  • A soldier living in southern Arkansas can move to Texas, which pays an overtime rate, and potentially earn $100,000 in five years, he said.

Yes and: There are 61 vacancies, or about 10% of the entire force.

Go back: Gov. Asa Hutchinson proposed last week to increase the general revenue budget to $78 million for the state police, an increase of $7.4 million.

What they say : Bryant told the committee that pay levels and increased law enforcement oversight have reduced the number of applicants.

What to watch: Lawmakers will meet on February 14 for a legislative session focused on the state budget. The state fiscal year begins July 1.

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