North Fulton police agencies hope money talks as they work to recruit new officers

·2 min read

Police departments in North Fulton County are in competition to hire new officers.

One is about to travel north to New Jersey to recruit, while another is increasing salaries across the board for both existing and incoming officers.

“We’re competing against one another, and here in North Fulton we’ve got a number of tremendous law enforcement agencies with this narrowing pool of qualified candidates,” said Roswell Police Chief James Conroy.

But he doesn’t think he’ll have any problem filling 12 open positions thanks to nearly $2 million just approved by the mayor and City Council last week.

Starting July 1, Roswell police will bump pay by 20%, making them the highest paid in metro Atlanta.

The move comes after Sandy Springs did the same thing last year.

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The increase will make starting salaries for incoming officers with no experience and just a high school diploma $58,553, while an officer with at least five years experience and a four-year college degree starts at $71,635 a year, based on an 84-hour pay period and working 12-hour patrol shifts.

“I want to hire as many as we can,” said Alpharetta police Capt. Jakai Braithwaite, who will travel with a team next month to New Jersey to recruit in the New York City metro area. “We’re trying to get ambitious, get proactive, and think outside the box.”

Growing up in the area, Braithwaite is using his connections there not just to hold a job fair or attend a career day — Alpharetta police will hold full testing, medicals and interviews on-site so they can hire new officers on the spot.

“(I’m) selling my organization to you: ‘Please come be a police officer here.’ But I’m also selling this beautiful city,” he said.

But in Roswell, money talks. And that seems to be working.

The chief said after the increase in pay passed Monday, by Friday the department had received 60 new police officer applications.

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