Pine Bluff police will see a pay increase of 5% of base pay plus an across-the-board bump of $2,776 for each uniformed officer added to their annual salary, according to a proposed 2020 budget.
In the Pine Bluff Fire Department, uniformed fire personnel would receive a 5% pay increase in the coming year. But with no room to trim slots, additional raises on top of the 5% will have to wait.
According to Fire Chief Shauwn Howell, the Fire Department has 100 slots for uniformed firefighters, 90 of which are filled. But with eight of those firefighters currently in training at the Arkansas Fire Training Academy in Camden, he has an effective uniformed force of 82 people, including himself and his administrative staff.
"I've got a total of eight people in administration," Howell said in a recent interview. "That gives me an effective firefighting force of 74 people today." That is 74 people, he said, to cover seven fire stations across three 24-hour shifts, which leaves him with 24.3 firefighters per shift.