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A Report on the State's Law Enforcement Salary Schedule (Salary Schedule C) and Law Enforcement Position Parity

August 2008

Report Number 08-707

Overall Conclusion

Salary Schedule C for state agency law enforcement positions is contained within the State's Position Classification Plan (Plan), which is part of the General Appropriations Act. Legislative action is required to make changes to it. This study's primary focus was to analyze the State's direct compensation for law enforcement positions and compare that compensation with the direct compensation paid by local Texas law enforcement departments that employ more than 1,000 commissioned law enforcement officers. Direct compensation includes base pay and various forms of supplemental pay, such as hazardous duty pay, education pay, and certification pay.

The analysis showed that, to make Salary Schedule C more competitive with the market, changes would need to be made. The changes recommended in this report would have a minimum estimated implementation cost to four state agencies of approximately $50.2 million for the 2010-2011 biennium. The Department of Public Safety would bear 80 percent of that cost. The fiscal year 2007 turnover rate for Salary Schedule C employees was 6.0 percent. For these employees, the turnover rate ranged from 21.6 percent for entry-level positions in salary group C1 (for example, Trooper Trainee; Game Warden Trainee) to no turnover in positions in salary group C8 (for example, Commander, Public Safety; Major, Game Warden).

Another objective of this study was to determine whether parity exists for the responsibilities of senior-level law enforcement positions (for example, sergeants, lieutenants, and captains) at the State's law enforcement agencies. The results of the analysis did not provide evidence to justify classifying these positions differently. The analysis determined that there are differences in job responsibilities for senior-level law enforcement positions; however, there is parity in terms of the complexity of the job responsibilities that those positions perform. In addition, 264 (99.6 percent) of the 265 senior-level Salary Schedule C positions reviewed were classified correctly. Appropriate action was taken to resolve the misclassified position.

Texas state agencies (excluding institutions of higher education) employ 4,339 full-time classified law enforcement officers who are paid in accordance with Salary Schedule C; this represents 3 percent of the total state agency workforce. In fiscal year 2007:

- The State spent approximately $246 million on base pay, hazardous duty pay, and overtime pay for these positions.

- The State spent an additional $6.18 million on supplemental pay in the form of certification pay, education pay, and bilingual capability pay.

- Turnover for these positions in fiscal year 2007 was 6.0 percent. Statewide turnover in fiscal year 2007 was 17.1 percent.

Texas Government Code, Section 654.037(b), requires the State Classification Team within the State Auditor's Office to gather and analyze information regarding compensation provided by local law enforcement departments. In reviewing salary rates for law enforcement positions, the State Classification Team used the following positions to represent the benchmark jobs for their respective salary groups:

- Trooper - Department of Public Safety (salary group C3).

- Sergeant - Department of Public Safety (salary group C4).

- Lieutenant - Department of Public Safety (salary group C5).

- Captain - Department of Public Safety (salary group C6).

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