Town of Palm Beach News

Town of Palm Beach Public Safety Get Increase in Pension

Palm Beach departments of public safety, more specifically the police and fire departments, have been experiencing an alarming amount of employee turnover over the years.

The Town of Palm Beach Town Council members have brought up, in a recent meeting, that the fire and police departments might have an issue with recruitment and not retention. However, with just over 200 applicants inquiring for positions as fire fighters and police officers (with the fire department having slightly more applicants than the police department) it seems unlikely that Palm Beach Pubic Safety has a problem hiring candidates as opposed to keeping them.

The reason for the high turnover has been linked to the rather unpopular pension and benefits plan offered to employees; which were so uncompetitive that Palm Beach fire fighters and police officers would regularly leave their Palm Beach departments for other departments with better benefits and pensions (which is literally any other Public Safety Department in South Florida) offered just across the bridge.

Director of Public Safety for the Town of Palm Beach, Kirk Blouin, even recalled an anecdote in which a supervisor had left his Town of Palm Beach Department for a starting position with a department in another town.

Town of Palm Beach Public Safety Get Increase in Pension

It is becoming a trend that new candidates get their first job in in the Town of Palm Beach then, when they have enough experience, move on to another department.

In fact, over 60% of the firefighters and police leave Palm Beach within the first 3 years and around 20 percent stay for the long haul (10 to 20 years), usually staying only because they’ve worked their way up and gained seniority as well as a better salary.

Due to the retention issue, Palm Beach’s Town Council voted this Tuesday 4-1 in favor of increasing pension and benefits for public safety employees.

With the new and far more competitive pension plan set to kick off around the 30th of September, only time will tell if this is the change that the Town of Palm Beach needed to make in order to keep its public safety employees happy to stay and continue serve in our community.

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Jonathan enjoys covering local events and occurrences. His writings encompass a wide range of topics from news to entertainment, oftentimes mixing business with pleasure.

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