As the Nashville Police Department's Recreation Division approaches its first month on patrol, the officers in charge of this downtown initiative are bracing for a big pay raise.
At a special Public Service Commission meeting last month, the board approved an amendment to the fiscal year 2023 compensation plan, adding an incentive bonus for the Nashville-based unit's 33 officers.
A monthly bonus of $1,250 gives you an extra $7.44 per hour – $15,000 per year.
The department announced the creation of the new unit in November amid calls from tourism officials for more arrests and an aggressive search for criminal, disorderly and intoxicated activity. The ministry wanted to reduce the excessive cost of overtime; previously, patrols were run by volunteers or second-in-command.
Recreation officers patrolled Broadway from 1st Avenue to John Lewis Street, 2nd Avenue, Church Street, and portions of Division and Demonbrown and Gorge streets. They typically work Thursday through Sunday, afternoon to early morning, working 10.5 hours per shift.
The incentive bonus will continue through the end of this fiscal year and will be included in the plan for future years.
Officers who voluntarily travel to the unit are not entitled to tips, but will receive overtime pay.
Read more: 'It's finally here': Nashville police bolster downtown presence with new unit
According to spokesman Don Aaron, the department routinely offers compensation to agents for unwanted changes. Officers on the B shift from 3 pm to 1:30 am get an extra 70 cents per hour, and those who work the night shift from 9 pm to 7:30 am get an extra 80 cents per hour.
"Prior to the creation of a permanent unit, officers were assigned to work overtime in the recreation area, which sometimes made it difficult for them to schedule personal activities with families," Aaron said. "The department has created an incentive … to make this task more attractive in terms of work, days and hours of work."
According to the MNPD, all officers in the unit have at least the rank of "Police 2". According to the MNPD website, the minimum salary for an officer at this level is $59,260.98 per year.
Staff correspondent Kirsten Fiscus can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @KDFiscus.
This article originally appeared in the Nashville Tennessean: Lower Broadway Division Nashville Police Department Receives Monthly Bonus.