Letter: Only better pay will help police retention

Posted 4/4/24

There's only going to be one thing that's going to attract and retain quality employees, and that is money.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Register to post events

If you'd like to post an event to our calendar, you can create a free account by clicking here.

Note that free accounts do not have access to our subscriber-only content.

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.

Letter: Only better pay will help police retention


To the editor:

Last week's Phoenix featured a front page article regarding a plan to restructure the Bristol Police department, and within that article, police chief Kevin Lynch remarked that he hoped this new restructuring would assist the department in recruiting and retention of police officers, which has reached a crisis stage not only in Bristol, but all over the country.

Since he was brought in to run the police department, Kevin Lynch has been a one-man public relations firm, not only for the police department, but for the town in general, and I wholeheartedly appreciate his efforts.

But even though he has procured new uniforms, police cars, motorcycles, specialized training, and a slew of other enhancements, and now is restructuring the department, these initiatives don't pay for mortgages, groceries, kid's college tuition, and other daily expenses that police officers face. And with police officers all over the state leaving lower paying departments such as Bristol for higher paying departments and other careers, there's only going to be one thing that's going to attract and retain quality employees, and that is money.

I've always been a staunch supporter of law enforcement, and I'm cognizant of the fact that most Bristolians do not enjoy tax increases, but I also believe that you can't put a price on public safety. While I applaud Kevin Lynch for his efforts on recruitment and retention of police officers, unless the town gets serious about increasing compensation for these officers, the Bristol Police Department is simply going to be a revolving door, where officers will only stay long enough to gain experience and pension credits until a position opens up in a higher paying department where it's very easy to laterally transfer and enjoy a higher standard of living.

The job of a police officer has never been more stressful, demanding, and dangerous than it is today, and it's long past time for the town to compensate our outstanding police officers accordingly.

Mike Proto

2024 by East Bay Media Group

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.