Southaven Police staffed

Chief Macon Moore swears in two new officers in May. Southaven Police Department is now fully staffed thanks to aggressive recruitment efforts and better pay.

Southaven Police Department is at full staff thanks to an aggressive recruitment effort and record high pay raises.

Chief Macon Moore said all 145 officer positions are now filled.

He credits the department’s success in recruiting qualified candidates to the support the department has received from Mayor Darren Musselwhite and the Board of Aldermen who make public safety a top priority.

The city implemented an aggressive officer expansion plan with a goal of putting 60 new officers on the street over the next five years. Southaven also increased pay for police officers.

The department is now the highest paid law enforcement agency in DeSoto County and the third highest paid in the Memphis metropolitan area.

“We have the support of the mayor and a board who allowed us to put together a very competitive salary and benefits package,” Moore said. “This package allows us to maintain a level playing field with other local agencies.”

Moore said the city gave police officers the biggest raise in its history. Uncertified officers start at a salary of $55,860 and increases to $58,140 after academy certification.

Moore said the city’s explosive growth presents many challenges for the police department, but with those challenges also come opportunities within the department to grow and broaden their career paths.

“Opportunity for promotion and advancement is a result of the growth here at SPD,” Moore said. “And we offer the most advanced and up-to-date training and equipment of any agency in the metro area which makes us an attractive option to someone who is looking.”

SHPD answers about 100,000 calls for service a year.

Musselwhite commended the department for the tremendous job they have done to attract qualified officers.

“Our police have done an excellent job,” Musselwhite said. “They are doing different things, thinking outside of the box, using social media, and using different recruiting tools that we have never used before.”

The city has invested more than $6 million on personnel.

“With our budget we have invested a lot more money with our police department,” Musselwhite said. “Every year we have made a bigger investment. We have an aggressive expansion plan.”

Musselwhite said it is extremely rare to have a fully staffed police department.

A June 2021 national survey from Police Executive Research Forum found that police department around the country were only able to fill about 93 percent of budgeted positions due to an increase in retirements and resignations.

“That is a very rare thing,” Musselwhite said. “That’s a very challenging thing for every police department in America.”

 

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