Lewisville recommends boost in police, firefighter pay for 2017-18

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Beginning in October, Lewisville’s first responders could have little more in their paychecks.

After comparing Lewisville’s police and fire pay ranges to other similar cities in North Texas, the city’s HR director, Matt Grebliunas, told the city council Monday night that Lewisville’s maximum pay for police officers lags the market rate by 1.7 percent.

For the coming fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, Grebliunas recommends raising the pay ranges to market plus two percent, for a maximum of a 3.5 percent increase. The move will help the city stay competitive and keep the officers it hires.

Lewisville had 19 vacant police officer positions in June 2016. The city implemented a new lateral transfer program last year, allowing veteran officers from other cities to be hired on and get increased pay for their experience. In order to qualify, they must have worked for a city with a population of 50,000 or higher or a department of 100 officers or more. Since then, Lewisville has hired 10 officers away from other cities in addition to hiring rookies. The city still has four experienced candidates remaining on its list.

Police Chief Russell Kerbow said that the lateral transfer officers get paid at the same level based on experience as those officers who started at Lewisville, but that they do not get seniority. Kerbow said Monday that all vacancies in the department were filled.

Raises for police, fire and other city employees will be determined officially by the city council at their annual budget workshop in August and voted on in an open meeting.