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First Lathrop police chief may make up to $229K
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The first ever Lathrop Chief of Police could make between $188,728 and $229,465 in the first year of employment in the hope that a competitive salary will attract a “highly qualified and experienced candidate” that will build the city’s first police department.

According to the staff report prepared for the council to act on an item that would officially create a Chief of Police position, the new chief – when hired – would be responsible for up to 40 full-time positions and would be tasked with hiring all of the command staff and personnel and with building a positive culture within the newly-formed department.

The Lathrop City Council – which meets on the second Monday of every month at 7 p.m. at Lathrop City Hall, located at 390 Towne Centre Drive – will consider creating the new position when meet on Monday, May 10.

Through the consultant that the city hired to aid in the process of building the city’s first ever in-house police force, 10 cities were used for market research to determine the most appropriate salary for the new chief position as well as determine which agencies will serve well for recruitment to the newly-formed department. Those cities include Brentwood, Galt, Livermore, Lodi, Manteca, Merced, Oakley, Pleasanton, Tracy, and Turlock – four of which are located within the Bay Area, and the remaining six from within the Valley.

The market survey determined that a median salary for a police chief within those 10 cities is around $225,000-a-year – the number that was used to create the salary range for the position that the council will consider when it formally discusses the item.

According to the City of Lathrop’s annual salary grade and step table, the proposed Grade 94 position for the Police Chief would be the highest in the city, and would make the Police Chief the third-highest on the pay scale behind only the City Attorney and the City Manager – who are paid a base of $220,691 and $234,588, respectively.

If the council approves the proposal before them next week, the city could begin recruiting a police chief immediately as the first step towards putting together an outline of the department’s structure and filling out the roster of sworn and non-sworn personnel that will be brought on as part of the newly-formed department.

Lathrop is currently locked into a contract with the County of San Joaquin for police protection provided by the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office through June of 2021 – the earliest that the city could make the switch over to the department now that the Lathrop City Council has agreed to fund the venture.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.