Vienna City Council passes legislation to help with police and fire department recruitment and manpower

Vienna City Council addresses challenges in the police and fire departments.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 12:39 AM EDT
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VIENNA, W.Va. (WTAP) - Vienna City Council passed multiple measures aiming to help with recruitment and manpower for the city’s police and fire departments.

One of those resolutions switches the pension plan that incoming Vienna police officers will use.

This follows the recent police salary increase, which aimed to help with recruitment and retention.

Council Member Melissa Elam explained that this new pension plan goes with you if you switch to another police department.

The previous plan was tied to the city so, when transferring, police officers would have to close their pension and start over with a new pension with their next department.

“This allows us to recruit folks that otherwise would’ve been like ‘well, but they don’t have - if I go there I’m starting over’ you know and that’s kind of how they were seeing it,” Elam said.

City council also passed a measure that will increase the volunteer fire department’s incentive compensation plan from $1,800 to $3,000.

Council Member Roger Bibbee explained that the main goal of the increase is to help with manpower since the volunteer fire department is low. He said that this is an issue nationwide.

Bibbee said the incentive plan was created in the mid 90′s as an incentive for recruitment and retention. While it’s been successful for retention, it hasn’t done much for recruitment.

It’s an incentive plan that can be accessed by firefighters once they reach a certain level of experience. Bibbee said that they’re used to be more criteria but now they’re changing it to only be based on experience.

To be clear, Bibbee defines manpower as how many people are on calls.