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Wasatch County

Heber City Police receive 10% salary increases

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Heber City Police Department
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In 2019, Heber City Police Chief Dave Booth stands with newly sworn-in Officer Anel Maldonado.

The Heber City Council signed off on 10% raises for all full-time police officers at its regular meeting Tuesday.

Heber City Police Chief Dave Booth told the council that after making a recent hire, there are still five open vacancies on his staff. He said the department has been understaffed for the past two and a half years. In addition to adjusting for inflation, he said raises for the employees he has on staff could help keep them there.

The council voted unanimously to approve the $130,000 annual cost.

Booth said he also wants to try a new approach to staffing - hiring experienced part-time officers.

“If we try this, and insurance allows us to do it, I’d like to do two permanent part-times if I can pay for one full-time,” Booth said. “I might do four permanent part-times if I can pay for two full-time, and so on and so forth. I just don’t know if it’s going to work. It’s a gamble we’re trying, but we’re the only ones trying it, so that’s why I’m kind of excited to give it a try.”

Booth first requested the pay raises at the council’s strategic planning retreat in early January. He said he’d recently lost officers and missed hires to better paying jobs elsewhere, including the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office. He also said the hiring process has gotten more difficult because far fewer candidates are applying.

Because of the long-term vacancies, he said the department has enough salary money to cover the first six months of what the raises will cost the city.

The pay increases for full-time, uniformed officers don’t include Booth’s salary.

Booth also asked the council to consider budgeting for a 25th staff member in 2025, which the council didn’t vote on yet. That’s to bring back an officer who will return from serving in the military then.

The pay raises are effective immediately.

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