Because Alabama's trooper numbers are low recruitment is strong and now they are going after city police officers.
Trooper Donald Frazier is a spokeman for the Department of Public Safety. He says, "Just to get people on the road a lot quicker, we are hoping that some prior law enforcement officer will give us consideration." That prior experience is a plus for the state.
Frazier adds, "You don't want to hurt other departments, but then we have to look out for our department at the same time."
So where are these recruitment efforts taking place? Troopers are looking at local police and sheriff's departments. Frazier adds, "So pretty much any where we think we can get a good candidate, then that's where we're looking for."
Montgomery's police chief is doing everything he can to thwart those efforts.
Captain Huey Thornton is a spokesman for the department. He says, "He's been working closely with the mayor to make sure we maintain a competitive salary." Salary is a big consideration as well as benefits.
Thornton adds, "The mayor did a study on our pay plan to make sure we were at the market level and he found out they were not so they were given pay raises."
There are also educational incentives, so salaries increase with degrees. And even a new "drop plan" for their retirement. Thorton explains, "This means they freeze their retirement at 20 years and the last 3 years of pay they get half of year in a lump sum check when they do retire."
By taking some pre-emptive measures the city of Montgomery hopes to hold onto their officers.