Some Say Low Pay Causing Police To Leave County

ATLANTA (AP/WAOK) – Increasing numbers of police officers are leaving a suburban Atlanta county, and many of them say low pay is the reason.

Records show that 38 officers have left the Gwinnett County Police Department so far this year, excluding retirements, terminations and officers who dropped out of the academy. That’s up from 28 departures in 2012.

Starting pay for new officers is $35,023 a year. Experienced officers start at $37,648.

Former Gwinnett County officer Mike Puglise says the numbers are alarming. He said the county is also losing the experience and training of the officers who leave.

Police chief Charlie Walters declined to comment. County Commissioner Tommy Hunter says he’s heard concerns about pay from employees across all county departments.

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