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Public Safety Jobs Receive Salary Increases

With salary increase, public safety departments become one of state’s highest paid

Certified public safety employees working for Forsyth County government, including the Sheriff’s Office, Fire Department and E-911 Department, will receive a salary increase up to 16 percent over the next few months.

With the Board of Commissioners’ passing of the FY 2023 budget on Aug. 18, certified public safety employees of the County’s E911 Department, Fire Department and Sheriff’s Office will be receiving a 4 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) beginning Sept. 26, 2022. These employees are also eligible to receive a salary increase up to 12 percent beginning Jan. 1, 2023.

“Forsyth County is one the safest places to live and work in Georgia,” said County Manager Kevin Tanner. “This is only possible because of the dedication of our law enforcement, fire and 911 personnel. The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners values these employees and continues to do everything necessary to ensure that we can offer one of the most competitive pay and benefit packages in the area.”

The salary increases are based on market salary information used to ensure new salary rates are competitive in the metro Atlanta market. With this increase, Forsyth County will provide one of the highest salaries in the state for public safety.

The County’s recruitment efforts go beyond public safety with other recent Board decisions to attract and retain talent County-wide.

“Forsyth County took another substantial step forward for all County employees by creating a student loan payback program, a tuition reimbursement program and increasing the County’s 401(k) retirement contribution to a maximum of 15 percent,” said Tanner.

Along with these initiatives, the adopted 2023 Budget allows for Forsyth County to conduct a comprehensive Market Salary Study which will include all personnel, including civilian employees who currently work for a public safety department.

Below are statements from Forsyth County’s public safety leaders.

Fire Chief Barry Head: “This new pay initiative is a welcome upgrade for the public safety professionals of Forsyth County and a clear indication of how seriously our Board of Commissioners takes their duty of providing for a safe community. With these salary adjustments, our firefighters now become some of the most competitively paid in the state. Recruitment and retention are some of the biggest challenges for public safety department heads today. This new pay package will help ensure that for those interested in a career of serving others before self, we remain a very attractive community in which to work. Even more importantly, this commitment to our existing employees sends the loud and clear message that they are appreciated and will help ensure that they remain a part of the Forsyth County Fire Department family. My deep and sincere appreciation goes out to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners and County leadership for making this new pay initiative a reality.”

EMA and 911 Director Chris Grimes: “We are appreciative of the Board of Commissioners and County Leadership for recognizing our Public Safety Telecommunicators and the difference they make. These are the men and women that are often the ‘first’ first-responders to an emergency, coordinating a fast response to the scene while giving instructions that could be the difference between life and death. The dedication of our Public Safety Telecommunicators is felt every day by this community, and that service is receiving its due with these new increases. This will allow us to ensure that we have the resources to recruit and retain the best emergency telecommunicators in the area and keep our County safe."

Sheriff Ron Freeman: “With the recent salary and compensation adjustments for the Deputy Sheriffs of Forsyth County, we are now poised to be among the best paid Sheriff’s Offices in Georgia. In light of the ever-competitive recruiting market of metro-Atlanta and the severe shortages seen nationwide in the law enforcement profession, these adjustments are putting FCSO back into a competitive position to find the best and brightest to serve Forsyth County. I want to thank the Board of Commissioners and County Manager Tanner for working alongside me in reaching this agreement on funding for Deputy Sheriffs. It again shows the commitment Forsyth County and the Sheriff’s Office place on the safety of our citizens.”

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