Summary of Report 21-704

The following report is available on the Texas State Auditor’s Office website:

A Report on the State’s Law Enforcement Salary Schedule (Salary Schedule C) for the 2022–2023 Biennium, SAO Report No. 21-704

Overall Conclusion

In accordance with Texas Government Code, Section 654.037(b), the State Auditor’s Office surveyed local law enforcement departments that employ more than 1,000 commissioned law enforcement officers and compared the State’s direct compensation for positions paid according to the State’s law enforcement salary schedule (Salary Schedule C) and the direct compensation provided by those local law enforcement departments. This study also identified which of those local law enforcement departments provided the highest direct compensation. A comparison of the maximum and mid-range base pay for positions paid according to Salary Schedule C and the average maximum and mid-range base pay of the seven largest local law enforcement departments in the state shows the following:
  • Maximum base pay for state journey-level law enforcement positions (for example, Troopers and Game Wardens in salary group C3) is 12.2 percent below the average maximum base pay of the seven largest local law enforcement departments in the state. Maximum base pay for state senior-level law enforcement positions (for example, Sergeants, Lieutenants, and Captains in salary groups C4, C5, and C6) is 12.2 percent, 15.0 percent, and 16.7 percent, respectively, below the average maximum base pay of those seven local law enforcement departments.
  • Mid-range base pay for state journey-level law enforcement positions (for example, Troopers and Game Wardens) is 9.3 percent below the average mid-range base pay of the seven largest local law enforcement departments in the state. Mid-range base pay for state senior-level law enforcement positions (for example Sergeants, Lieutenants, and Captains) is 14.9 percent, 17.5 percent, and 15.9 percent, respectively, below the average mid-range base pay of those seven local law enforcement departments.
Based on the findings and analysis of the survey conducted by the State Auditor’s Office, this report offers three options for adjusting the salaries in the State’s law enforcement salary schedule (Salary Schedule C):
  • Option 1 - Align Salary Schedule C with the market average maximum base pay. Aligning Salary Schedule C with the market average maximum base pay would have an estimated cost to six state agencies of approximately $48.3 million in each year of the 2022–2023 biennium.
  • Option 2 - Align Salary Schedule C with the market average mid-range base pay. Aligning Salary Schedule C with the market average mid-range base pay would have an estimated cost to six state agencies of approximately $45.8 million in each year of the 2022–2023 biennium.
  • Option 3 – Adjust the salaries in Salary Schedule C by 2.29 percent. Adjusting the salaries in Salary Schedule C by 2.29 percent would approximate the overall average percentage increase in base pay that five of the seven local law enforcement departments included in this study indicated they will provide during the State’s 2021 fiscal year. This option would have an estimated cost to six state agencies of approximately $8.7 million in each year of the 2022–2023 biennium.
During this study, the State Auditor’s Office asked for input from state agencies with Salary Schedule C employees regarding any requested changes to the State’s Position Classification Plan. Two agencies, the Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Department of Criminal Justice – Office of Inspector General, submitted a total of six requests. Those requests included adding a new job classification title, reallocating selected job classification titles to different salary groups, and changing selected job classification titles. Recommendations in this report address five of those requests, either as submitted or with some modification. The State would incur no cost to implement the agencies’ requested changes as recommended by the State Auditor’s Office. (Chapter 3 presents information on the recommended changes to the State’s Position Classification Plan for the Law Enforcement occupational category.)
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