POLICE DEPARTMENT CAREER ADVANCEMENT POLICY
In 2005, Chief of Police William McClintock introduced an Officer Advancement program. This course was presented to, and approved by the Town Council. Through testing administered at an individual’s two year, four year, and six year mark; rank and pay rate was increased. These ranks consisted of Police Officer Second Class, Police Officer First Class, and Master Police Officer, respectively. Each promotion of rank carried with it, a 2% increase in annual pay. This was a very proactive step in employee retention, as well as recruitment.
Due to an unexpected development; this program was suspended, administratively, in early 2012, and has remained dormant since.
Over the course of the last several months, this program has been reassessed in an effort to lift said moratorium. While the general idea of the program will remain, in essence, the same; specific guidelines will be changed to reflect greater benefit to the Department and the Town itself.
While the rank structure will remain the same, there will now be additional criteria to be met, alongside testing. In addition, the timeline has been altered.
We will be moving from a two/four/six year plan to a three/six/nine year plan. These installments will carry a 2%, 3%, and 4% pay increase respectively. However, time in service will not be the only factor. Accumulated hours of additional North Carolina Criminal Justice Standards approved instruction will be integral. As well as acceptable performance of duties.
For eligibility at the three year mark, Officers must have accrued at least 120 hours of pre-approved continuing education. The six year mark will require 240 hours. And 360 hours for the nine year level.
Participation is not mandatory. Nor are these levels meant to be attained retroactively. For example; any Officer having already attained 9 years in service and 360 hours of training shall only be afforded the opportunity at Master Patrol Officer.
This program is certainly about incentives for the individual, however coupled with the continuing training and education, this is clearly a benefit for the Department and the Town of Montreat. Increased awareness and ability not only makes for a better Officer but, could also potentially reduce liability for the Town. All of this also moves the Officer closer to their Advanced Certification from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Standards and Training Division.
As a byproduct, this will also address future disparity in pay scale between new hires and established personnel hired at a lower rate. Ultimately; this renewed program shall incentivize retention, as well as recruitment for future personnel. It will introduce a level of career development never before realized in this Department.