PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A state senator wants to see a bill passed that would increase the minimum wage for part-time police officers.
Some say they’re barely able to make ends meet and that they need the extra money.READ MORE: Port Authority Updates COVID-19 Vaccination Policy For Employees, Adds Cash Incentive
But taxpayers are asking, where would the money come from?
Guy Collins has been a police officer for 20 years — for the past six patrolling the streets of Braddock Borough. He loves the job, despite the danger and pay — only $12.75 an hour.
“I just look at what I do, I enjoy working with the public and my job is to come out day-by-day and make sure everybody’s safe,” he says.
He’s not alone. officers throughout the Mon Valley towns make even less, because their financially-strapped towns can’t afford to pay them anymore.
“Something’s got to change,” said one officer. “These guys are putting their lives on the line for 10 or 11 bucks an hour.”READ MORE: Two People Sentenced To Prison For Roles In Deadly 2019 Sheraden Shooting
And state Sen. James Brewster of McKeesport agrees.
“To be wearing a weapon and to have to go into some of the areas you have to go into and save people’s lives and keep us safe, I just think it’s totally in appropriate,” he said.
Brewster has introduced a senate bill establishing a minimum salary of $15 dollar an hour for police across the state. to pay for this he’d tack on $10 to every speeding ticket. Though he tried and failed to move the bill last year, he thinks this year will be different.
“It’s a bipartisan bill,” he said. “I don’t think that politics really have much to do with it. There will be very little, if any, financial burden to the local communities.”
And it would mean that Collins could stop having to work 70 hours a week just to get by.
“That would be great,” said Collins. “That would be great for all us down here in the Mon Valley because all of us are definitely underpaid.”MORE NEWS: Suspected Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty To Charges, Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison
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