PORT ORCHARD — Following Mayor Rob Putaansuu’s announcement Jan. 15 that the City of Port Orchard has begun a recruitment search for a new police chief, the City Council will take up the mayor’s request to increase the salary of the new top law enforcement officer to $155,000 annually.
Putaansuu told council members at their work study session Jan. 15 that when Police Chief Geoffrey Marti’s contract ends later this year, Marti plans to retire. To prepare for a change in leadership of the police department, the mayor will ask the council at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22, to approve a resolution revising upward a new chief’s salary.
Marti currently earns a yearly salary of $140,143, plus benefits.
The mayor and the city’s human resources coordinator, Deborah Howard, met recently with a recruitment consultant from the Washington State Association of Sheriffs and City Chiefs, who recommended the new police chief’s salary be increased in order to recruit a larger pool of qualified candidates.
In the agenda staff report, Howard stated that “It is to the benefit of the City to maintain a standard of excellence in the leadership of our Police Department.” Council members at the work study meeting agreed to move forward with the increase at the City Council meeting Jan. 22.
Howard said that once the recruitment process is completed, a revised salary schedule will be brought before the council as an ordinance. It is expected council members will discuss the fiscal impact of the wage and benefits, necessitating an amendment to the city budget.
The Port Orchard Police Department’s chief is responsible for a staff of 30 employees and four volunteers, including one deputy chief, three sergeants, two detectives and 17 police officers. The department is also supported by an office manager, one full-time and two part-time records-evidence specialists, two part-time parking enforcement officers and a part-time court security/crime prevention officer.
The volunteer team includes one traffic safety assistant, two reserve police officers and a police chaplain.