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

Man arrested after 17-car theft at three Roswell dealerships, cops say 
Man arrested after 17-car theft at three Roswell dealerships, cops say 

A man was arrested after 17 vehicles were stolen from three Roswell dealerships within the past week, Channel 2 Action News reported.  Antonio McCrary remained in the Fulton County jail Monday on burglary charges. Roswell police believe there are others connected to the crime.  The latest car thefts occurred Aug. 6 at Used Imports Auto...
How the AJC covered the Jerry Heard case from ‘ATL Homicide’
How the AJC covered the Jerry Heard case from ‘ATL Homicide’

The murder of Jerry Heard was the subject of the sixth episode of the TV One true-crime series "ATL Homicide." Heard's body was discovered dumped in a wooded area in southwest Atlanta in July 2002.  "ATL Homicide" recreates cases as told by David Quinn and Vince Velazquez, two retired Atlanta Police Department homicide...
4 members of Sinaloa drug cartel sentenced to prison in narcotics bust
4 members of Sinaloa drug cartel sentenced to prison in narcotics bust

More than a year after a drug bust yielded the arrests of four members of the Sinaloa drug cartel, a jury found them guilty of various drug charges, according to a release from the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.  Martin Cuellor Lopez, Fidel Ayala-Agurrie, Jorge Arreola-Camarena, and Jose Arreola- Camarena were sentenced Friday...
Teen accused in crash that killed friend: ‘I honestly wish it was me instead of her’
Teen accused in crash that killed friend: ‘I honestly wish it was me instead of her’

Like a few of their peers, Cristina Pavon-Baker and Makayla Penn skipped school and went to the mall.  The duo were participating in senior skip day and, according to Channel 2 Action News, planned on shopping for bathing suits at Southlake Mall.  But they never made it.  Pavon-Baker’s car wrecked on I-75 North at the Jonesboro...
Cops: Georgia man raped girl weeks before stabbing 2 people 
Cops: Georgia man raped girl weeks before stabbing 2 people 

Before he allegedly stabbed two people at a McDonough mobile home park last week, Henry County police said Samuel Espinoza Escamilla raped a girl.  Escamilla, 22, is wanted on aggravated assault and rape charges in the crimes, which were allegedly committed a month apart, according to Henry County police and incident reports obtained by AJC...
More Stories