PULLMAN, Wash.–The state Personnel Resources Board has approved a proposal submitted by Washington State University to increase the salary schedule of its uniformed police officers.
The board’s action increases starting salaries for new police officers from $2,179 to $2,634 a month and will boost the pay of others throughout the ranks to a top salary of $4,882 a month for a department captain. The wage schedule is now equal to that of the University of Washington police officers.
William Mercier, WSU director of public safety, said the plan also compares favorably with salaries of the Pullman and Moscow police departments.
“The university strongly supported this increase in an effort to retain qualified officers. In the past five years, nine WSU officers — half of the department — left for higher paying positions with other law enforcement agencies,” Mercier said. “This high turnover rate created enormous costs, since the department must continually pay for hiring, training and equipping new officers.”
He said the low salary structure caused the university to lose seasoned and experienced officers in an environment where those qualities are essential.
The new pay schedule is effective as of May 16. Officers also are eligible for the July 1 cost-of-living salary increases approved by the Legislature.
Covered are 17 officers on the Pullman campus and two at the WSU Vancover campus.