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Commissioners approve pay raises for law enforcement, county employees

Lawrenceville – The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday fulfilled a promise to adjust compensation for all county employees, and in particular sworn law enforcement officers, to bring salaries closer in line with market and assist with recruitment and retention.

Sworn law enforcement officers in police, sheriff and corrections and E911 communications officers will receive a 4 percent increase in their pay. In addition, all eligible employees will receive a 3 percent market adjustment, which also applies to the employees who are getting a 4 percent increase.

Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash said salary adjustments are needed not just in law enforcement but across the organization as a whole.

“County employees went without a pay raise for four years during the recession,” Nash said. “While this Board was able to reinstate increases starting in 2014 with a market adjustment and each year thereafter with annual raises tied to performance, a further adjustment is needed to address hiring and retention issues. Our competitors are granting pay increases, too, and, frankly, we have to keep up or risk losing talented employees to other agencies.”

District 4 Commissioner John Heard agrees the increases are necessary.

“My objective is to make Gwinnett County the best place to do business in the nation, and to do that we have to be able to attract, recruit and retain the best employees,” said Heard.

Recent adjustments to the compensation structure that included a new master officer rank for police officers, sheriff deputies corrections officers and a pay differential for specialized police units have helped but that more is required, according to District 2 Commissioner Lynette Howard.

“I’m thrilled that we’re increasing the salaries of all our employees,” said Howard. “These men and women work hard every day to provide a level of service our residents deserve and have come to expect.”

District 1 Commissioner Jace Brooks said, “It’s simple. The Gwinnett standard of excellence has been set and we want to keep it high. One way is to make sure that our employees are adequately and fairly compensated.”

Added District 3 Commissioner Tommy Hunter, “I feel good about the increases we approved tonight. We based the market adjustment on an evaluation of the County pay schedule compared to the pay schedules of our peer organizations, and I believe it will help us remain competitive.”