Tarentum considering 16% increase in part-time police pay
Tarentum is considering a 16% increase in the hourly rate it pays part-time police officers.
It would increase the pay from $15.50 per hour to $18, according to borough manager Michael Nestico.
Nestico said the borough needs to increase what it pays part-time officers because other municipalities are paying more, and the borough is having a difficult time hiring them.
It’s more than the borough wanted to spend, he said, but, “we’re being priced out of the market.”
A check of Alle-Kiski Valley police departments found hourly rates for part-time officers ranging from $14.50 in Brackenridge to $19 in Harmar.
Harmar police Chief Jason Domaratz said the township increased its pay from $14 to $19 — a 36% increase — to make the job more appealing.
“It’s definitely helping,” he said, but there still aren’t many pursuing part-time positions.
Some departments — including Fawn, Harrison and New Kensington — do not use part-time officers.
Nestico brought the subject to council’s attention Tuesday. A part-time officer was intended to be hired at a meeting scheduled for Thursday, but it was canceled.
Tarentum has nine full-time officers and one part-time officer.
If the increase is approved, it would apply to the existing part-timer, Nestico said. However, that officer is applying for a full-time position.
Even with an increase to $18 per hour, part-time officers still save the borough money because they do not receive benefits, Nestico said.
Departments across the region are increasingly relying on part-time officers as tightening budgets limit how many full-timers can be hired.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .