Proposed DeKalb budget includes additional $14.1M for public safety

Credit: AJC photos

The annual budget proposed by DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond includes:.$14 million, in new public safety spending.The money would pay for additional police officer positions, retention and signing bonuses, higher starting salaries and raises for existing personnel — all items aimed at improving retention and recruitment..$1.2 billion , Thurmond’s overall proposed budget, which includes 4% cost of living increases for all non-sworn county employees, as well as a 2% bump for county retirees. .100, The budget would help fund 100 new police officer positions and hire a search firm to help with recruiting.6.25%, The funds would also make the frontline pay that many public safety personnel have received during the pandemic permanent, effectively giving them a 6.25% raise.$3,000, Existing firefighters and police officers would receive $3,000 retention bonuses and the county would double its 401(a) pension match for enrolled personnel.$5,000, New police hires that are already POST-certified would qualify for $5,000 bonuses

The annual budget proposed by DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond includes more than $14 million in new public safety spending.

The money would pay for additional police officer positions, retention and signing bonuses, higher starting salaries and raises for existing personnel — all items aimed at improving retention and recruitment, officials said.

“Our men and women who protect and serve citizens of DeKalb are the most critical components of our workforce,” Thurmond said in a news release.

Thurmond’s $1.2 billion proposed budget includes 4% cost-of-living increases for all non-sworn county employees, as well as a 2% bump for county retirees.

The focus during a Tuesday afternoon presentation before the county’s Board of Commissioners, though, was public safety spending.

The $14.1 million in additional spending that Thurmond is proposing to add in that arena would help fund 100 new police officer positions — and hire a search firm to help with recruiting. It would also make the frontline pay that many public safety personnel have received during the pandemic permanent, effectively giving them a 6.25% raise.

Existing firefighters and police officers would receive $3,000 retention bonuses and the county would double its 401(a) pension match for enrolled personnel. New police hires who are already POST-certified would qualify for $5,000 bonuses.

Increased starting salaries for police and fire would put those departments more in line with other metro Atlanta agencies, officials said.

Under Thurmond’s budget proposal, the county’s benchmark millage rate — the formula used to calculate property taxes — would remain steady.