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Herriman Journal

Herriman raises police officer pay in response to regional trend

Sep 29, 2021 12:42PM ● By Justin Adams

By Justin Adams | [email protected]

Herriman’s police officers will be seeing a little more money going into their pockets after the city council moved to raise their compensation in response to similar increases made by other cities in Salt Lake County.

Salt Lake City raised its police officer pay by 15%. West Jordan and West Valley City raised theirs by 12% and 15%, respectively. And South Salt Lake raised theirs by a whopping 30%. 

Why all the increases?

In response to the police killing of George Floyd last summer and the national protests that followed, many officers chose to leave the profession and pursue other lines of work. 

That has led to an imbalance in the supply and demand for officers. There’s simply not enough police officers left to fill the positions, at least in Salt Lake County. And anyone who’s taken Economics 101 will know that when demand outpaces supply, prices are going to rise. 

“How do you re-establish that trust, you pay police officers more to get them back,” said Herriman HR Manager Travis Dunn. 

With some of the larger cities in the valley raising their pay, Herriman Police Chief Troy Carr said it has become a challenge for recruitment. 

“We’ve already seen this impact our recruiting efforts, as candidates see that other departments are paying more,” he said. “When you’re talking about a difference of $10-12,000, you bet they’re going to go somewhere else.”

So to keep up with the pack, the Herriman City Council voted to approve a compensation plan adjustment during its Sep. 8 meeting. Fortunately for the city, they were already near the top when it comes to compensation, so it only took an increase of 5% to be on par with West Valley City’s new compensation plan. The cost to the city for this adjustment will be about $300,000 per year. 

“Our department was paid so well, that we don’t have to do a 15-30% increase that these other cities have had to make,” Carr said.

Council Member Sherrie Ohrn said she supported the increase but wondered if supply and demand problem could have been avoided.

“I always think that police officers should be paid well because they provide a valuable service, but the problem is… You need to make sure your police officers are valued and that your culture reflects that,” she said. 

Council Member Stephen Shields also noted that the increase may have been necessary anyways because of rising wages in the broader economy.

Mayor David Watts echoed that sentiment and suggested the city may need to prepare to make changes in order to compete for employees in other departments as well.

“The wage increases that we’re having are going to hit us across the board. We need to start planning for that as well,” he said.

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