The police staffing study recently completed by the Greensboro Police Department (GPD) and the Budget and Evaluation Department goes into detail in comparing police salaries with other cities in North Carolina.
The memo from the Budget and Evaluation Department about the study states, “the base salary range for peer cities is comparable at $38,000-$45,081. GPD’s starting salary is at the lower end at $38,987. However, incentive programs influence the actual starting salaries. Several cities offer higher starting salaries for educational attainment, military service, and automatic pay increase upon completion of academy. These incentives can increase starting salaries upwards of 5 percent above the base amount. GPD offers a one-time educational attainment incentive.”
According to the report, the starting police officer salary in Greensboro is $38,987, High Point is $40,357, Winston-Salem is $39,469, Charlotte is $45,757, Raleigh is $42,300, Durham is $37,029 and Kernersville is $38,999.
High Point in addition offers a 5 percent language incentive and Winston-Salem offers 5 percent military incentive plus $1,104 annual incentive for speaking Spanish.
So, while Winston-Salem has a slightly lower starting salary than Greensboro, a military veteran would start in Winston-Salem at $41,442. Also in Winston-Salem the starting salary is based on the level of education, but the report doesn’t indicate what the different levels of pay are for education.
Greensboro offers a one-time incentive payment of $2,500 for an associate’s degree and $5,000 for a bachelor’s degree and offers no incentive for military experience or speaking a foreign language, according to the report.
Raleigh offers an annual incentive payment of $660 for an associate’s degree and $1,320 for a bachelor’s degree. So in Raleigh an officer with a bachelor’s degree would have a starting salary of $43,620.
According to the memo about the report, “Greensboro’s violent crime rate is most similar to Durham and Winston-Salem’s. Both cities are the most comparable demographics and police structure.”
However, there is no information in the report about incentives offered to police officers in Durham.