The present police chief began his employment with Brainerd in May 2001, with a yearly salary of $57,339. In 2006, he received a $9,300 salary increase, bringing the yearly salary to $80,548 plus excellent benefits. The police chief resides in the Fort Ripley area and Brainerds taxpayers pay for his transportation to and from work. How many of you taxpayers have received a $23,000 salary increase during the last six years or a $9,300 salary increase in one year? And is your transportation to and from your place of employment paid by your employer?
When the present police chief was hired, the job description qualifications did not require a masters degree. Nor does it now. The police chief sent a letter to the council stating he intends to finish his masters degree in Criminal Justice Leadership through Concordia University, with classes online and at the St. Paul campus on weekends.
And he has requested the Brainerd taxpayers pay the cost of his masters degree. My position is: If the police chief is interested in securing his masters degree, it should be completed on his own time and at his own cost. I will vote no on this request. I have two daughters employed in School District 181 and they have recently earned their masters degree at no cost to the school district taxpayers. Too many of our citizens are struggling financially and shouldnt have increased taxes and fees in order to pay for masters degrees for city employees.
The police chief also states this degree will make him a more effective law enforcement leader. One should ask...does the chief feel he has not been an effective law enforcement leader these past six years?
There is no doubt a masters degree will look impressive on his resume for future employment.
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