The Statham Police Department is rearranging the way it pays officers, but at no additional cost to the city.
In what could have been $15,000 in savings, the Statham City Council approved a motion creating an hourly wage for officers.
Officers will see the same amount of money at the end of the year.
The potential savings were redistributed across the officers so no one lost any pay, according to Chief of Police Steve Martin.
“What I didn’t want to do was cut their hours and that result in cutting their takehome pay,” he said.
If hours were cut, Martin said that it would have reduced most of the officers down about $2,500 a year, or about $200 a month.
“So that was a lot of money,” he said.
Most Statham officers make between $34,000 and $35,000 a year.
The plan basically comes out to a 40-hour workweek. Officers work 30 hours one week and 50 the next. They are also on a two-week pay rotation.
“It’s the same take-home pay for a better work schedule,” Martin said.
The new arrangement also allows the department an overlap from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. each night of the week.
Two officers will now be on duty.
Also with the changes, a 50-cent raise is being given to investigator Ernest “Buddy” Hardigree, previously the department’s second lowest earning employee.
“Because of the schedule changes I was able to make, I had about $5,000 in savings even after we collected the pay,” Martin said. “I just took a little bit of that savings and passed it on to (Hardigree).”
The council approved the motion with council member Betty Lyle abstaining.