Wisconsin State Troopers get first pay raise in six years

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill that gives state troopers a 6 percent raise.

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill that gives state troopers a 6 percent raise. Troopers said not only will this move put more money in their pockets it will also attract more law enforcement officials to the state patrol.

Trooper Thomas Campbell loves his job at the Wisconsin State Patrol.

“You just never know what you are going to get into, so I just really enjoy that and working with different people all the time,” Campbell said.

But in the seven years he’s worked there, he hasn’t seen a single raise.

“When our last contract ended in 2009 we haven’t had anything that has been renegotiated with medical or with our wage increases or anything like that,” Campbell said.

That is until now on Monday, Walker signed a bill into law that gives a 6 percent raise to state troopers.

“There is a 3 percent increase each year for all current employees for ’13 and ’14 and ’14 and ’15,” said Trooper Glen Jones, the chief spokesperson of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association Bargaining Committee.

Troopers will get a lump sum payment for those past two years.

“It will help us pay for child care, or say a vehicle breaks down we will have that extra money,” Campbell said,

In exchange for the raise troopers will have to pay more for health insurance.

“It’s going to triple the out of pocket insurance cost for our employees,” Jones said.

Members of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement agency said the increase is worth it, because higher salaries will make newly trained troopers more likely to stay with the patrol.

“We are not the only people looking to hire law enforcement officers, and you don’t have any way of getting a raise here. We were having significant retention problems,” Jones said.

 Campbell hopes bigger paychecks will lead to a stronger force.

“That only makes me feel better that I have a highly trained individual out there that will back me up if I need it,” Campbell said.

There are currently 440 people working in the Wisconsin State Patrol. The Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association hopes the changes to the contract will help bring that number past 500.