Alva Review-Courier -

By Steven C. Johnson
Kiowa Police Department Police Chief 

To any and all concerned parties

 

September 13, 2017



(Editor's Note: Kiowa Police Chief Steven Johnson wrote this letter, distributed it Monday night to Kiowa City councilmembeers at their September meeting and approved it to run in the Newsgram.)

Last council meeting our city council discussed the proposed budget for 2018 and beyond. It was discussed and noted that even after substantial cuts to multiple projects and departments a mill increase was needed to be able to cover the increase in salary for employees of the city.

Lieutenant Howerter and I saw an increase in pay some years ago when our department cut a full time officer position. We accepted the increase in pay in return for bearing the weight of a three-man police department on the shoulders of only two officers. After that increase in salary for the added work it proved to save the city over $30,000 in benefits, pay and equipment every year in doing so. We accepted the heavy workload gladly to be able to benefit the city in this way. This move saw money flow back to the city and 'froze' us from any merit raises that the rest of the city employees were offered. This means that yearly merit raises for the officers of the Kiowa PD were not a factor in the city budget for some years. The coming years, and the city budgets that accompany them, would now need to factor those merit raises.

After discussion with my wife, and contemplative prayer, we have decided to refuse any proposed raise in my pay from the city for the foreseeable future. We currently enjoy the blessing of living and serving in a community that we love. We wake every day, knowing in our hearts that we are exactly where God intends us to be. The Lord provides for our needs as he always has. We need only look at the face of our beautiful children to see God's Grace in our lives. We have no need to benefit from an increase in pay, especially if that increase might cause undo burden on the citizens of the city.

I feel it is important to note that I have done this without consulting any council member, official or fellow officer. I do not have any expectation that anyone from the city follow my lead. Everyone has their own family needs and I wish no one be looked down upon for not following my example.

I will continue to serve tirelessly as the chief of police, as well as in my volunteer positions with the EMS service and fire service, with the same dedication to the safety and security of the citizens of Kiowa as I always have. I love what I do, and the community I serve. Not everyone is blessed enough to say that.

 

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