MARSHALL, TX (KSLA) - Leaders of an East Texas city voted to give its employees a pay increase later this year.
In a vote 6-1 Thursday evening, Marshall city commissioners voted to raise salaries for Marshall city employees.
The Marshall Police Department is calling the vote "historic," noting this is the first major pay raise in department history. Prior to the salary boost, Marshall police officials said they've been struggling to retain officers.
"Right now, we have six openings, potentially seven," said Detective Tyler Owen, vice president of the Marshall Police Officers Association. "The pay raise is going to be significant for our department to be marketable to these new officers."
Owen said MPD has been losing officers to cities like Longview, Tyler and Texarkana due to low salaries.
"We are very excited for this raise to happen, it's been a long time coming," said Owen. "We want to be marketable to these new recruits that are coming out of the academy or looking for a career in law enforcement."
The pay raise is expected to go into effect later this year.
Officials compared salaries paid to employees of cities of similar size to see how much of a raise each job should receive.
The increase, if approved, has been described as historic for Marshall's police officers.
The raise would make the Police Department more competitive in recruiting officers and would help ensure they don't leave, the city's police union says.
District 4 Commissioner William "Doc" Halliday said he is for the raise, which would cost the city about $586,000 a year.
Funds for the pay increase would come from a 1-cent increase in the city's property tax.
Also, city employees would be required to pay about $30 a month for health and dental insurance.