The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 7, 2014

Danville police chief: Salary difference costs us good officers

By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News

— DANVILLE — The borough of Danville is losing good officers and others are not applying because Danville officers earn about $10,000 less than comparable departments, according to Police Chief Eric Gill.

Gill expressed his concerns at a recent meeting of the Danville Borough Police Commission. The commission met after receiving a letter from Borough Manager Shannon Berkey directing the commission to create an eligibility list for a full-time police officer.

Danville Borough Council members plan to discuss the matter during their meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 14 in council chambers, Mill Street.

Gill provided information to the commission about three neighboring departments which are comparable in size to Danville’s department.

A certified Danville officer will be paid $34,000 annually in 2014 compared with $43,300 paid to a Milton police officer, $43,309 paid to a Northumberland officer and a $45,913 salary earned by a Buffalo Regional officer, according to Gill.

Gill also told the commission a Danville officer pays all of his or her health insurance as do officers in Northumberland and Buffalo Regional. A Milton officer pays $10 per week toward his or her health insurance, Gill said.

Gill said it takes five years for a newly hired full-time police officer to reach a patrolman full-wage status.

After the commission reviewed the information, its members recommended to borough council that the starting salary of Danville officers be increased so they are more in line with neighboring departments.

“We hope Danville Borough Council will take our recommendation into consideration as it is becoming extremely difficult to attract qualified applicants and retrain them after they are hired,” commission secretary Michael J. Enright wrote to the council.

Council members received the letter at their meeting Monday night.

Gill said the current police contract expires the end of 2015.