70.6 F
The Villages
Monday, June 5, 2023

Lady Lake officials worried low salaries not attracting enough police officers

Lady Lake officials are worried low salaries are not attracting enough police officers to the town’s law enforcement ranks.

That means there have been a number of vacancies that have been hard to fill at the Lady Lake Police Department.

“Right now everyone is in competition,” said Lady Lake Police Chief Robert Tempesta.

The starting pay for a police officer in Lady Lake is $45,000 per year and it’s one of the lowest starting salaries in Lake County, according to the chief.

“I want to fill these vacancies,” the police chief told the Lady Lake Commission at its meeting Monday night at Town Hall.

Town Manager William Lawrence began his career as a law enforcement officer many years ago. He said times have changed.

“People don’t want to be a police officer any more because they don’t want to work nights and weekends and holidays,” he said.

Lawrence added that money is the chief motivator.

“The younger generation is looking at starting pay. They aren’t thinking about benefits. They aren’t thinking about down the road. They are thinking about now,” he said.

The town currently has a two-year contract with the police union, the Lady Lake Police Benevolent Association. Last year, the police union asked for a starting salary of $50,079.

Commissioners indicated they are willing to reopen the police union contract to increase pay to help with recruitment.

“Help is on the way,” Mayor James Rietz assured the police chief.

Little white cross case may be headed to U.S. Supreme Court

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Tamarind Grove resident suggests that the infamous little white cross case in The Villages may have to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

We need to change the rules

A Village of Lynnhaven resident contends it’s time for The Villages to update the deed compliance rules.

The cross should remain

A Village of Fernandina resident says that a little white cross at the center of a legal battle in The Villages should remain in place. Read her Letter to the Editor.

I agree that Sawgrass Grove is overcrowded and pricey

A Village of Monarch Grove resident agrees with a previous letter writer who complained that Sawgrass Grove is overcrowded and pricey.

Snarky comments about my noble name

A Village of Pennecamp resident calls out the readers making snarky comments about his “noble” name. Read his Letter to the Editor.