The Lexington Police Department. (Photo by Ian Dardani)

By Ian Dardani and Felicity Taylor

The Lexington City Council has agreed to increase Lexington police officers’ salaries by 12 percent.

The decision was made at last week’s meeting on October 21.

After suffering from nine departures in the last 18 months, the police department is severely understaffed and is struggling to find replacements. Two officers retired and seven went to higher paying positions in other police departments.

Mayor Frank Friedman says it’s a top priority to replace these officers and provide assistance to the current staff who are working overtime.

The 12 percent increase brings the new base salary to slightly over $40,000 a year, which makes its base higher than the Rockbridge Sheriff’s Office but still lower than the Buena Vista Police Department.

Along with rewarding current officers, the council says it hopes the pay raise will make the police department more competitive in the recruiting process for new officers.

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