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Ducey pushing to increase state troopers' pay

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Governor Doug Ducey said he wants state troopers to be the highest paid law enforcement professionals in the state.

On Friday, he will reveal the plan he will present to state legislators to get the officers their raise.

So, how will that affect recruiting efforts by other agencies to secure higher pay?

If Gov. Ducey has his way, Department of Public Safety troopers may be getting a 15% pay raise that will go far with the recruitment effort.

"When it comes to the budget, public safety will always be at the top of our list," Ducey said. 

According to the DPS website, current salaries for troopers range from about $51,000 to $70,000 a year. If the 15% increase passes, that would give troopers a pay hike ranging from $7,000 to $11,000 additional a year.

"An investment like this in our infrastructure will allow us to potentially hire more folks, potentially bring more laterals to our agency," said Jeff Hawkins president of the Arizona State Troopers Association.

Jeff Hawkins said they are in desperate need of more troopers.

"Road mileage has increased in Arizona by 1,000 miles we've not increased the size of our agency in more than 30 years," Hawkins said.

He said they have sent recruiters to Washington State, and will be sending some to Ohio. They are also recruiting officers from other law enforcement agencies.

"We're a brotherhood in law enforcement and we hope all the agencies do well," Hawkins said. "And it's a very competitive process and we've been on the back end maybe now we'll hopefully be on the front end."

The Pima County Sheriff's Department is also recruiting.

"We compete with Tucson Police, we compete with Highway Patrol, DPS, so yes it is a concern," Sheriff Chris Nanos said. "So I hope it's something the board recognizes and says "Yeah we need to do something too."

Sheriff Nanos said he plans on addressing the issue with the board of supervisors.

"Pay is going to be a part of that because we have to be competitive," Nanos said. "If I tell you I need to hire 100 deputies, how am I going to hire them if I am not competitive."

Jeff Hawkins is hoping the governor's announcement will encourage city and county leaders across the state to step up and make some investments in their law enforcement agencies.

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