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Mount Olive Police Department now fully staffed

NEW OFFICERS - Two new officers have been sworn in at the Mount Olive Police Department, bringing the department up to full strength with 16 full-time sworn officers. Pictured from left are Chief Tommy Brown, new officer Alexander Torres, Mayor pro tem Joe Scott, officer Stephanie Williams, and Major Linda Tyson. (contributed photo)
By William Holloman
Staff Writer

Two new officers recently joined the Mount Olive Police Department, which puts the department’s manpower at full strength. Officers Alexander Torres and Stephanie Williams were recently sworn in, giving the department 16 full-time sworn officers.

It is the first time in months the department has been up to full strength, said Town Manager Charles Brown. Brown said the full staff eases the burden shared by the officers.

Just a few years ago, salaries for police officers were at such a low level that once an officer was hired and got some experience, he left for a higher-paying salary in another town’s department.

The town manager had high praises for town commissioners and their concern about salaries, not only in the police department, but also for all town employees. “We have adjusted our employee pay scale and keeping people once they have some experience is not the big problem it used to be,” he explained. Speaking particularly about the current police department, Brown said, “We have a group of well trained, dedicated people in our police department and I am proud of them. I am also proud of the fact that the town has been able to meet the needs of compensation for its personnel.”

He also said, on another note the town is working “very hard to look out for all employees.

“I am proud of the fact that when we present our new upcoming fiscal year budget to the town board that we will not have a single employee for the town of Mount Olive who is working at the poverty level,” Brown said.

He said just a few years ago, a number of town employees were eligible to receive food stamps. “We are no longer in that situation and I am proud of it,” he said.

Brown said current salaries are not showing a dramatic change, but officials had been working on that issue and the results are now clearly visible. He said the Town of Mount Olive can now be competitive with other towns when it comes to employee salaries.

Brown said that will continue to be among his concerns. “Our employees are what make the town tick,” he said.
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