The City of Greensboro and Police Chief Ken Miller, who is eligible for retirement in March 2014, have reached an agreement that will keep Miller in his role as chief of police. The City and Miller agreed to a new salary of $175,500 per year (previous salary was $148,311), starting November 1, that offsets a separation allowance Miller would have received if he retired.
According to City Manager Denise Turner Roth, the agreement to keep Miller in his role is a sign that the City wants continuity in its police chief. “Chief Miller’s commitment to serving the residents of Greensboro has made our city a safer and more engaged community,” says Roth. “Under Chief Miller, the relationships between the police department and community have improved, crime is down across the city, and the men and women of our police department have focused on keeping Greensboro safe and secure. We’re moving in the right direction as a department and we need to maintain our leadership to help us continue our positive growth.”
Miller’s annual salary increase partially offsets an approximate $38,500 separation allowance he would have been paid by the City upon his planned retirement in March 2014. This special separation allowance is required by North Carolina Retirement System, only available to law-enforcement officers, and would have been available to Miller in March 2014 when he would have completed 30 years of credible service. Under the provisions of the law, Miller, who is 50, and other law enforcement officers are eligible to receive the benefit until the age of 62.
Roth says Chief Miller wants to stay as Greensboro’s police chief and the City did not want to penalize him financially for making that choice. “The alternative would have been to allow Chief Miller to retire, pay the separation allowance, and start the process of finding a replacement. In weighing the best decision for the City, I have elected to have Chief Miller remain in his capacity and continue his and the GPD’s effective work. In doing so, we have reached a mutually beneficial agreement and increased his salary by approximately $27,000 (to $175,500 per year) to help offset the loss of the allowance.”
“I’m pleased that City Manager Roth has confidence and faith in my abilities in managing and leading the department,” says Miller. “This is a critical time for the Greensboro Police Department as we have several initiatives underway that are important to its future, and we want to see them completed. I’m excited that I am remaining in my position and look forward to leading the department into the future.”
Statement from City Manager Denise Turner Roth
I wanted to offer further clarification on the City’s decision to retain Chief Miller. Perhaps the most crucial piece of information that went into the decision making was related to a separation allowance owed to Chief Miller once eligible for retirement (March, 2014).
The decision to retain Chief Miller and offer him a $27,000 per year salary increase is designed to offset the separation allowance he is owed per North Carolina General Statues. The allowance is unique because it is only available to law enforcement officers with 30 years of credible service time. If Chief Miller were to retire in March, he would be due a yearly $38,500 allowance that would have been paid by the City for the next 12 years.
Without considering that allowance within the context of this announcement, a perception is created that the City simply offered the raise in an effort to prevent the Chief from leaving. This is contrary to our efforts and our goal to make decisions that benefit Greensboro as whole.
Every day we have strong employees leave this organization who we wish we could offer additional compensation or resources. In this case in particular, the separation allowance created a special circumstance that offered a set of factors unlike most employee retention scenarios.
Most importantly, there is a concerted effort behind this decision to maintain continuity in our police leadership and continue the positive growth of our police department.
The City works with the community to improve the quality of life for residents through inclusion, diversity, and trust. As the seventh largest employer in Greensboro, the City has a professional staff of about 3,000 employees who maintain the values of honesty, integrity, stewardship, and respect. The City is governed by a council-manager form of government with a mayor and eight council members. For more information on the City, visit www.greensboro-nc.gov or call 373-CITY (2489).