Mayor Lester Miller and the Commission approved at the August 17 meeting a series of annual incentives for public safety employees, which will include the Fire Department, Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management Agency, E-911, Lake Tobesofkee Rangers, and Civil Court Sheriffs.
“We want to make sure we are keeping our experienced public safety employees and recognize them for the years they’ve spent protecting our community, while attracting the best people to come work for us knowing there is this incentive in place,” says Mayor Miller. “We heard through my Transition Team and nearly a dozen Macon Violence Prevention forums that public safety is our community’s top priority, and one way we can improve it is by taking care of the people who take care of us.”
Each January beginning in 2022, employees with 10 or more years of experience will receive the following amounts in their paychecks. These payments will also improve employees’ retirement since those payments are based on the three highest years of pay.
Annual Incentive Payments
10-14 years – $2,500
15-19 years – $4,000
20+ years – $5,500
“In the next 10 years, this will be a $40 million investment in the people who protect our community day and night, often never getting the recognition they deserve and have earned,” adds Mayor Miller. “I’m proud that we are able to do this and do it in a way that our people will see a tangible benefit from every year.”
“While conducting exit interviews, I have spoken with employees who are on the verge of making a change in their career at an early time in their tenure because of higher salaries and pay increases,” says Interim Fire Chief Shane Edwards. “I am looking forward to going around to the stations, meeting with our firefighters, and showing them our Mayor and elected officials support public safety and that our efforts are not going unrecognized.”
“In the past, we have lost tenured employees to other emergency communication centers with higher pay or other incentives. Knowing this incentive is happening every year will show people they are appreciated and encourage them to stay with us for many more years,” says Shandel Graham, Director of E-911. “This is a major relief for those who have held on and remained in the trenches for the love of the work. We appreciate the Mayor and Commissioners for making this happen.”
“These incentives show our community that our government understands the essential nature of public safety,” says Sheriff David Davis. “It also shows our people that have protected us every day for years they are valued and that we appreciate their service. I know this investment in their future will keep our best and brightest with us for many more years.”
“This is an important step in recognizing our employees who are on the front lines of protecting our citizens,” says EMA Director Spencer Hawkins. “I think this will show our employees we value their experience and commitment to Macon-Bibb County.”
“This is a great recognition of the services our Rangers provide protecting people here at Lake Tobesofkee, and I know it will help us keep the people who understand the lake and the safety issues that could arise,” says Donald Bracewell, Director of the Lake Tobesofkee Recreation Area. “We’ve made so many improvements out here the past few years that we expect the number of visitors to grow, and that experience will prove invaluable in protecting people.”
The incentive will be paid to public safety employees in their paycheck of the first full pay period each January, and time of service is calculated by the years employed with one of the groups on December 31 of the previous year. The first incentive will be paid on January 22, 2022, so that means time of service will be determined on December 31, 2021.