Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Beshear proposes pay hike, body cameras for state police

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Frontline personnel of the Kentucky State Police will receive pay increases, and soldiers will be equipped with body cameras, as part of a budget proposal unveiled Tuesday by Gov. Andy Beshear.

The governor said the proposed pay hike is aimed at preventing the frequent loss of soldiers and dispatchers moving to higher salaries in other police agencies. Democratic governors will present their budget plan to a Republican-led legislature early next year.

He said that under his proposal, the starting salary for KSP sworn officers would increase from about $40,000 a year to $55,000. Existing soldiers and officers will also receive a raise.

For State Police Telecom, the starting salary will be $24,000 to $32,000 annually. Existing telecom companies will also get a hike.

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Beshear said that his budget would include $12.2 million to purchase an integrated video recording system for KSP. The funding will enable KSP to equip 650 soldiers and officers with recording equipment.

“This is the first time in the history of this Commonwealth that this level of funding is being allocated for recording equipment, a much-needed expenditure,” the governor said.

“And we’ve never put as much money as I’m recommending — year-over-year, the biggest increase ever — for soldier and telecommunications worker salaries,” he said. “This is our investment because these are our people. And now is the time to look after the people who help take care of us.”

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