Dunwoody police complete training update, see no pay increase

Dunwoody Officer

Department complies with new state standards

Officials from Dunwoody Police Department announced the agency’s completion of new state policing standards training on June 19.

 The new standards, mandated by a multi-component reform package from Governor Nathan Deal as of January 2017, require that all Georgia law enforcement officers receive five hours of use of force and de-escalation training and two hours of community relations training.

 According to Dunwoody police spokesman Mark Stevens, the community relations training updates officers on cultural awareness, fostering positive relations with those served and procedural justice.

 “As of June 19, all sworn peace officers of the Dunwoody Police Department have completed the newly required annual training,” Stevens wrote in a release.

 Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan said the training is in line with the department’s overall mission.

 “[Deal’s] additional training requirement for law enforcement demonstrates Georgia’s commitment to providing fair and impartial policing to our communities,” Grogan said. “The [department] shares that commitment. The additional training… both complement the robust training we provide our officers each year, greatly exceeding the number of hours required by the State of Georgia. We made finishing this important, mandated training a priority for our department.”

 Though Dunwoody police have completed an extended amount of required training, financial benefits and pay increases totaling $78 million remain elusive for the department and other local agencies across Georgia.

 Part of Deal’s reform package includes pay increases for approximately 3,300 individuals from such state agencies as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, the Departments of Natural Resources, Public Safety, Community Supervision, Corrections and Juvenile Justice.

 “Eight local law enforcement organizations pay their entry-level officers more than the starting salary for a state trooper,” Deal states in the legislation. “Once this overdue increase goes into effect, GSP troopers will have the highest base salary of any law enforcement personnel in the state, going from $38,685 a year to $46,422.”

 Deal said the pay increases move troopers to the third-highest paid agencies in the southeast—behind Louisiana and Texas—and 24th in the country.

 “With respect to pay raises, the governor’s law enforcement reform package only affects state Officers, since they receive compensation from monies set aside in the annual state budget,” Stevens said in request for comment about a lack of state-funded raises for Dunwoody police. “Municipal and county officers receive compensation from their respective municipal and county budgets, not the state budget, so it would not be proper for us, as a municipal Police Department, to comment on matters involving the state budget.”

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