DeKalb CEO proposes minimum wage increase, more police in 2018 budget


DeKalb County CEO Mike Thurmond has proposed a 2018 budget that includes a plan to hire 155 police officers and to increase minimum wage for county employees to $14 an hour.

The wage hike would affect 711 county employees, most of them full-time, at a cost of $540,000 in the upcoming year. Thurmond calls it the item in his proposed budget, submitted to the Board of Commissioners on Wednesday, that he’s proudest of.

“It’s a moral issue, as well as it makes good economic sense,” he said. “We want everyone to share in the bounties and the growth and the prosperity that is DeKalb County.”

The total proposed budget is $603.3 million, down slightly from the $606.5 million budget approved for 2017. A vote is scheduled for Feb. 28.

Thurmond also recommended a 2 percent salary increase for employees who did not get more pay in 2016 when the county commissioned a compensation study. That will cost $2.8 million.

The other area of the budget slated for an increase in funding is criminal justice. Thurmond wants to spend $500,000 on a revamped recruiting strategy in hopes of hiring 155 DeKalb Police officers. The agency has struggled to hire and retain employees, and Thurmond said reversing that trend could also increase the number of women and minorities patrolling the streets.

“Because DeKalb has such a diverse population, I think that presents an opportunity for us to recruit qualified Hispanic, Asian and other minorities into the force,” he said.

Other highlights include $900,000 on programs intended to prevent juvenile crimes and $150,000 to train police officers on how to de-escalate situations involving people with mental health issues.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Atlanta Parent Magazine to host camp expo in north Fulton
Atlanta Parent Magazine to host camp expo in north Fulton

It’s only January, but summer will be here soon. And with school out by then, you — a parent — will be looking for something fun for your kid, or kids, to do. So how does a parent go about picking the perfect camp for their child? That could take a lot of research online. Or, that parent could just ride up to Alpharetta on Jan. 27...
New roundabout coming to Gwinnett intersection
New roundabout coming to Gwinnett intersection

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners approved a contract for more than $518,000 to construct a roundabout at a Buford intersection. READ | Gwinnett County Police Department welcomes 100th academy Peach State Construction Co. LLC will build a roundabout at the intersection of Sardis Church Road and Doc Hughes Road, near Interstate 85. The...
Former MARTA exec sentenced to 33 months in $500,000 scheme
Former MARTA exec sentenced to 33 months in $500,000 scheme

A federal judge Tuesday sentenced a former MARTA executive to 33 months in prison for his role in a scheme that cost the agency more than $500,000. Joseph Erves, 53, MARTA’s former senior director of operations, admitted orchestrating a false invoice scheme that led the agency to pay for maintenance work that was never performed. Tuesday...
Sam’s Club town hall still on tonight in DeKalb despite weather
Sam’s Club town hall still on tonight in DeKalb despite weather

State Rep. Vernon Jones, the Lithonia Democrat, is still holding his town hall tonight to get further information on the sudden closure of the Sam’s Club in Stonecrest. Despite the threat of winter weather, Jones is hosting the town hall with representatives of Walmart at 6:30 p.m. at the Stonecrest Library, located at 3123 Klondike...
Whistleblower cases cost Fulton taxpayers $575,000, and counting
Whistleblower cases cost Fulton taxpayers $575,000, and counting

It was a brazen scheme by a mid-level Fulton County employee to help fund a side business with taxpayer money. Nicola Hosier, a former financial systems supervisor in the Human Services Department, used her county-issued credit card to buy linens, chairs, place settings, appliances, silverware, champagne flutes and other items for her private event-planning...
More Stories