Public Safety Commission Emphasizes Need to Improve Competitiveness of Trooper Salaries
At last week’s Texas Public Safety Commission (PSC) meeting, the commissioners and Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw reiterated the importance of increasing the base salary for Texas Highway Patrol troopers to a level that is competitive with other similar law enforcement positions throughout the state. The commission was unanimous in their support of this effort. This announcement follows a report released earlier this month by the Texas State Auditor’s Office (SAO), which concluded that the state’s law enforcement salary schedule is not competitive with the average maximum base pay at the seven largest local law enforcement departments in Texas.
“It is imperative that we continue to take a stand for the courageous state troopers who put their lives on the line everyday to protect and serve the people of Texas,” said PSC Chair Cynthia Leon. “It is a priority of this commission to rectify this disparity in pay for troopers, so they can receive the compensation they’ve earned and deserve.”
According to the report, the SAO compared the maximum base pay (the highest level of pay within a salary range) for the state’s trooper position with the average maximum base pay for police officer, corporal, or detective positions at the seven largest local law enforcement departments in Texas. Results of the comparison indicated that the seven largest law enforcement departments’ average maximum base pay is 20.6 percent above the state’s maximum base pay for positions in salary group C3 (for example, trooper).
“In today’s challenging and ever changing threat environment, the Texas troopers now operate at an investigative level unlike any law enforcement agency in the country,” said Director McCraw. “Competing with other higher paying law enforcement agencies has made it difficult to recruit and retain quality employees. By achieving higher compensation rates for troopers, we will attract and retain these high performing officers.”
The commission and director emphasized their commitment to working with the Texas Legislature during the upcoming legislative session to increase the salaries of state troopers in an effort to make them competitive with their counterparts at other law enforcement agencies.
To read the full SAO Report on the State’s Law Enforcement Salary Schedule (Salary Schedule C) for the 2014-2015 Biennium, visit: http://www.sao.state.tx.us/ reports/ report.aspx?reportnumber=13-702.