Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves introduced Monday he’s authorizing a one-time $1,000 bonus to all sworn law enforcement officers employed by state agencies.
The funds are set to hit officers’ financial institution accounts earlier than 2022 and are categorised as COVID-19 hazard pay beneath the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act handed in 2020, Reeves stated.
“This one time cost at Christmas time will probably be a small recognition of the service of those that put their security on the road each single day,” he stated.
There are about 1,750 sworn, state-employed regulation enforcement officers, Reeves stated. The funds are coming from $50 million in CARES Act funds the legislature appropriated to the governor’s office.
The officers work for quite a lot of companies, however most are employed by the Mississippi Division of Public Security.
“Mississippi’s regulation enforcement officers have been via lots during the last couple of years, however regardless of all of it they’ve endured,” Reeves stated.
Solely officers employed by the state previous to Nov. 30 are eligible for the cost.
Hazard pay meant to ease Christmas prices
Division of Public Security Commissioner Sean Tindell stated the vacation bonus will assist alleviate monetary considerations, particularly for individuals who work second jobs.
Mississippi Freeway Patrol Trooper Craig James stated it’s humbling that the governor considered regulation enforcement officers and the pay can offset some vacation season prices.
“It can assist out tremendously,” stated James, who has youngsters. “My spouse has been selecting up further shifts. Perhaps she will be able to knock that again just a little bit with this cash.”
Reeves didn’t announce bonuses for different state staff and stated regulation enforcement officers have been particularly deserving as a result of they did not have distant work choices.
Reeves has beforehand championed his choice to keep Mississippi schools open during most of the pandemic, requiring lecturers to carry in-person lessons.
Already overtaxed due to a nursing shortage driven primarily by poor wages, hospitals grew to become so inundated with COVID-19 patients in August the state spent more than $100 million in federal funds to contract nurses from out of state.
Lawmakers from each events have advocated for utilizing American Rescue Plan Act funds to give hazard pay to nurses in the state.
The state legislature sets the salaries for sworn officers within the Mississippi Freeway Patrol and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, and an entry degree officer is paid $38,000 yearly.
For comparability, the common first-year instructor in Mississippi makes $36,500, based on the Southern Regional Education Board.
Reeves performs politics with bonuses
Reeves solid the choice to award hazard pay to regulation enforcement officers in a political mild, connecting it to anti-police rhetoric stemming from the 2020 uprisings throughout the nation in response to police killings of Black folks.
“Broad sweeping characterizations about who they’re and what they stand for merely based mostly on their line of labor,” Reeves stated. “Some have referred to as policing inherently and deliberately racist.”
Reeves praised officers’ professionalism within the face of what he referred to as “harmful rhetoric” from Democratic politicians and the liberal media.
“There have been calls to defund the police, to dismantle them,” he stated.
All three ranges of Mississippi authorities are managed by Republicans, and have been since 2012.
Requested how COVID-19 has impacted working circumstances for freeway patrolmen, James stated not a lot has modified.
“, we simply wade through the job it doesn’t matter what,” he stated. “Generally that entails carrying masks, out and in of that, and simply simply doing the job as all the time.”
Tindell estimated 50 first responders, together with firefighters and sheriff’s deputies, have died from COVID-19 through the pandemic.
Reeves stated he hopes cities and counties will observe his lead and supply hazard pay to their regulation enforcement staff.
Final month, the Hinds County Board of Supervisors approved premium pay for its employees, which incorporates sheriff’s deputies and corrections officers, utilizing federal COVID-19 aid funds.