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Town of Lexington looking to increase off-duty pay for officers working events

Right now, off-duty officers can make $35 per hour for special events. However, they are looking to increase this to be more on par with what other local cities pay.

LEXINGTON, S.C. — The Town of Lexington Police Department is looking for solutions when it comes to off-duty officers assisting with local events. Areas surrounding the Town of Lexington are paying officers anywhere from $40 to $50 for off-duty help at special events. Now, the town is hoping to pay its officers more in order to better serve the community at these times. 

"If you're going to hire the finest officers in the midlands you might as well pay them a little more," said Mayor Steve MacDougall.

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The leaders of the Town of Lexington met tonight to talk about enticing more police officers to help while off-duty by possibly increasing the pay for working special events. 

The police department partnered with a company called Extra Duty Solutions two years ago to help manage police officers' time. Major Matt Davis with the Town of Lexington Police Department explained that right now businesses, churches, schools, and special events hire officers at a rate of $40.60 an hour (paid to EDS and officers make $35 per hour after EDS takes their 16%).

"We have researched off-duty pay for other departments in the Midlands... we suggest an increase to $45 for the officer," the Major explained.

Davis says officers are requested to help direct traffic at six different churches each Sunday, and every day for at least nine hours at local schools. Off-duty officers are also asked to help with funeral escorts and special events. 

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The proposed increase would pay officers $45 an hour, $10 more than what they make now. Local organizations hiring officers would now pay $52.20 because extra duty solutions take 16%. Town Administrator, Britt Poole says, to meet the demand for quality service it has to be worthwhile for those giving their time.

"If they're paid a little more for those hours then maybe it'll encourage more officers to fill that time. Thereby helping the officer, and helping the business or church with their issue," Poole stated.

The town hopes to get officers out to more events to help with everything from holiday shopping to traffic control. The council voted to put the proposed increase on the agenda for its next meeting on November 7.

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