CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – A Chesterfield man doesn't think police are making enough money, so he's taking matters into his own hands. Barry Wood launched a website designed to boost police pay.
According to Wood, the starting salary for an officer is about $39,000. With that in mind, he used public information, and sometime on the computer to create payourpolice.com -- a website devoted to a police pay raise.
Click on one of the brightly-colored links, and you'll find jaw-dropping information.
"A lot of our police officers are leaving this county and going to work for the federal government or other jurisdictions," Barry said.
Barry Wood is a private citizen on a mission to help public servants.
"It takes about $120,000 to recruit, train and equip a police officer. So every time we recruit one and put them on the street, after we spend all that money then they find another place that is going to pay them more," he said.
Facts like that are public information. After months of research Barry found enough information to make his case in cyber space. He says a four-percent raise, totaling 1.2-million dollars, is long overdue. Most officers haven't one in more than three years.
"It's not a matter of whether we've got the money, it's a matter of priority, and the board of supervisors doing what they need to do," Barry said.
With laptop in hand, we showed payourpolice.com to Chesterfield resident Julieann Koenig and her husband PJ.
"If it something that needs to be looked at, maybe nobody's looking at it, it needs to be brought to somebody's attention, I think this is a great way for it to be done," said Julieann.
(Do you think they should have gotten a raise within the last three years?) "Yeah. Definitely. Definitely," PJ added.
With cuts to the budget over the last few years, county leaders say raises aren't possible. But resident Ramon Bryant says: find the money.
"If they haven't had a raise in three years something's wrong. I'd be willing to bet the administrators have," Bryant said.
Ramon says no matter your opinion, you should contact your supervisor. Barry wants you to do the same thing.
"That's why I call upon citizens to email them, call them, let them know what you think," Barry stated.
Some Chesterfield police officers are aware of the website. Barry says they are appreciate. He hopes his online effort makes a difference during the next budget cycle.
Chesterfield has a surplus of 28-million dollars. Next Wednesday the county will decide how to spend it. Supervisors are leaning toward a one-time 3-percent bonus for county employees.