Minden Council to discuss pay raises for Police & Fire, amending teen curfew

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MINDEN, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Minden city council will meet Thursday to discuss giving Minden Police and Minden Firefighters a pay increase. They will also talk about amending the teen town’s curfew.

The City Council meeting will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday and is open to the public. Minden Mayor Terry Gardner said both the Police Chief and Fire Chief requested the city council hold the workshop.

“The key thing that you have to think about with these pay raises is that that’s going to be recurring every year. this isn’t just a one-year pay raise,” Gardner said.

He said it’s an issue the city is aware of and they have been working on plans for it.

Keeping the city safe is a full-time job but with the shortage of Minden police officers and the small pay in salaries, it can be tough finding new recruits.

According to the Minden Police Department, starting pay for an officer is $13.75 per hour, while
Minden firefighters start off at $8.75 per hour.

“We can trim back and cut back on street overlays and we can cut back at the recreational complex. If we get the pay raise that I’m thinking, they’re going to suggest and present to the council, it’s going to take about half a million dollars,” Gardner explained. In order to be fully staffed, an additional five officers are needed, he said.

People in the community have said they understand the officers need a raise and they’re on board to help.

“We need our kids protected. we need to give them more money let’s raise it,” said resident Raina Evans.

One resident said the police shortage might be the reason for the uptick in crime.

“A lot of crime rates have gone up so yeah they’re working twice as hard so yes I feel they do deserve a raise it’s just the way they’re going about it,” said Catesseia Lewis, resident.

Amending the teen curfew is another item on Thursday’s agenda.

“We’re trying to get ahead of the curve. you see the violence in larger cities around us and our thing is we’re not saying our juveniles are bad, what we’re saying is we want to protect our juveniles,” Gardner said.

Resident Carlton Myles Jr. said he thinks the curfew could “potentially” be a good thing, but wants to make sure it’s not an ordinance that will justify over-policing children, while Evans said, “nothing good happens after 10 p.m.,” and kids should be home and studying schoolwork.

Lewis quipped, “I was always told ‘when the street lights come on you come in the house” Lewis shared.

The curfew would mirror Shreveport’s newly-amended teen curfew law that mandates teens, younger than 18, to be inside of their homes by 10 p.m. on weekdays, and parents are penalized for violations.

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