New Central police chief wants just $99/month
CENTRAL - The next top cop in Central asked the city council to cut his pay since collecting a full time salary risks his retirement.
Tuesday night, the council granted Chief-elect James Salsbury's odd request with no opposition.
Salsbury retired from the Baton Rouge Police Department in 2005 after working for the force for 27 years. All that time, he contributed to the Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System, or MPERS. Now, he is collecting from it since he is retired. Becoming chief and collecting the usual salary would mean he wouldn't be able to collect from what he paid before retiring.
"I would have to go back into the retirement system and freeze my current retirement and start over," said Salsbury.
So, Salsbury will collect only $99 a month instead of the typical chief's salary of $26,500.
Despite the unusual issue, the chief-elect says he still has a few years of law enforcement ahead of him and this is a great opportunity.
"I've been living here for over 30 years," He said. "My children live here; both of my grandchildren live here. It's an opportunity to build a department from the ground up, which is basically every police officer's dream."
Some argued this situation proves laws need to be changed.
"It takes these guys who retire young, out of the business of serving their community," said one man. "This allows our Chief-elect to serve until we can get this matter corrected."
Councilman Louis DeJohn agreed, adding that it is important to have the "retirement system is fixed so that qualified people can take an office like police chief as an elected official."
Salsbury was elected as Chief in April and takes over for Chief Doug Browning July 1.