A Report on the State's Law Enforcement Salary Schedule (Salary Schedule C) for the 2014-2015 Biennium [TX] [Key Points]
Back to SAO Home John Keel, CPA
Texas State Auditor

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A Report on the State's Law Enforcement Salary Schedule (Salary Schedule C) for the 2014-2015 Biennium

 

A Report on the State's Law Enforcement Salary Schedule (Salary Schedule C) for the 2014-2015 Biennium

 


 

October 2012

Report Number 13-702

Overall Conclusion

The State's law enforcement salary schedule (Salary Schedule C) is not competitive with the average maximum base pay at the seven largest local law enforcement departments in Texas. The State Auditor's Office compared the maximum base pay for the State's Trooper position with the average maximum base pay for Police Officer, Corporal, or Detective positions at the seven largest local law enforcement departments in Texas. (For purposes of this report, "maximum base pay" refers to the highest level of pay within a salary range.) Results of the comparison indicated that the seven largest law enforcement departments' average maximum base pay is 20.6 percent above the State's maximum base pay for positions in salary group C3 (for example, Trooper).

This study's primary focus was to compare the State's direct compensation for law enforcement positions with the direct compensation paid by the seven largest local Texas law enforcement departments: the City of Austin, the City of Dallas, the City of El Paso, the City of Fort Worth, the City of Houston, the City of San Antonio, and Harris County.

Direct compensation includes base pay and various forms of supplemental pay, such as pay for education, certifications, bilingual skills, hazardous duty/longevity, field training officer duty, and shift differential. The analysis showed that, to make Salary Schedule C more competitive with the market, changes would need to be made. See Table 1 in Chapter 1 of this report for information on the direct compensation that the seven largest local Texas law enforcement departments provide.

Four state agencies pay employees according to Salary Schedule C: the Department of Public Safety, the Parks and Wildlife Department, the Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and the Department of Criminal Justice. This report offers three options for making Salary Schedule C more competitive:

- Option 1: Align Salary Schedule C to the market maximum base pay. Texas Government Code, Section 654.037(b), requires a comparison of Salary Schedule C with the market average maximum base pay. Aligning Salary Schedule C with the market average maximum base pay would have an implementation cost to the four state agencies of approximately $51.5 million in each year of the 2014-2015 biennium. The Department of Public Safety would bear approximately 80 percent of the cost.

- Option 2: Align Salary Schedule C to the market mid-range base pay. The State Auditor's Office also compared Salary Schedule C with market average mid-range base pay. Aligning Salary Schedule C with the market average mid-range base pay would have an implementation cost to the four state agencies of approximately $33.7 million in each year of the 2014-2015 biennium.

- Option 3: Reallocate Salary Schedule C as the Department of Public Safety requested with the State Auditor's Office’s modifications. The Department of Public Safety submitted a request to reallocate its positions by one salary group for each job classification except for Commander and Major. As a modified approach to that request, the State Auditor's Office analyzed the effect of increasing salary steps in the current salary groups to align them with the intent of the Department of Public Safety's request. That option would have an implementation cost to the four state agencies of approximately $41.5 million in each year of the 2014-2015 biennium.

Table 2 in Chapter 1 of this report presents the maximum and mid-range base pay comparisons for law enforcement positions. Tables 3 through 5 in Chapter 1 of this report present the proposed salary schedules for the three options. Table 6 in Chapter 1 of this report presents the annual cost to the four state agencies for each of the three options.

The State Auditor's Office also reviewed the portion of the State's Position Classification Plan related to law enforcement positions and recommends that:

- A new job classification for an Investigator position be added for the Office of the Inspector General within the Department of Criminal Justice. The State would incur no cost to implement this change.

- Two existing Investigator job classifications be changed to accommodate the new Investigator position. The State would incur no cost to implement this change.

Tables 10 and 11 in Chapter 3 of this report present information on the recommended changes to the State's Position Classification Plan for the Law Enforcement occupational category.

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