The President of the NC Troopers Association wants to know why state lawmakers, who have a $500 million surplus in hand, have passed over state troopers requests for more pay.
“NC Troopers are shocked that our repeated requests for equitable pay simply fell on deaf ears with Republican leadership this year,” said Daniel Jenkins, President of the North Carolina Troopers Association. “Our equitable pay raise issue has been on the table for more than a decade with leadership on both sides of the aisle failing to take action. Although we are pleased that many well-deserving state workers, especially our educators received pay increases this year we need to know when is it our turn.”
Jenkins is referring to the fact that state troopers who protect one the top 10 highest populated states in the nation and the 6th most visited state, remain some of the lowest paid in the nation.
“Although we are supportive of other law enforcement personnel statewide, the fact that Troopers make less than many North Carolina municipal police is disturbing. NC Troopers also have the highest line-of-duty-deaths on the East Coast,” Jenkins said.
The average starting pay of a state trooper is $37,500. Some college campus police officers earn $13,000 to $17,000 more than troopers without any training. “Something is very wrong with this picture,” Jenkins said.
“Our State Troopers have proven they are being compensated far below fair market value,” said NC State Representative John Torbett. “These hard working, highly trained professionals put their lives on the line every day, rain or shine, to protect you and me as well as our friends and families. Now is the time for the General Assembly to act and compensate these dedicated folks with market adjusted pay increases.”
North Carolina Lt. Governor Dan Forest added, “There is no disputing that our State Troopers are underpaid for the risks they take on a daily basis. It is also hard to recruit the best in the profession when other law enforcement jobs are paying more.
“It is my hope that we will soon see our Highway Patrol members adequately compensated based upon their training and expertise. Doing so is essential to making sure we continue to have a Highway Patrol that can continue to keep us safe,” the Lt. Governor said.
Jenkins said to recruit the best and brightest troopers the starting salary needs to be raised to at minimum of $41,000. The national average starting salary of state troopers in all 50 states is $53,000.