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After facing months of criticism regarding the pay scale for police officers at USF, the University has reached a tentative agreement with the Police Benevolent Association that will increase the department’s base pay and provide more lucrative incentives for seasoned officers and those who exhibit exemplary performance.

“We are pleased that the University of South Florida and the Police Benevolent Association have reached a tentative agreement,” said Greg Stout, president of the Tampa Chapter of the PBA. “Campus safety is our No. 1 priority, and with this agreement we are on the way to attracting and retaining quality law enforcement to the University.”

The agreement – set to be presented to the PBA membership for ratification today – will increase the base salary for current officers from $35,041 to $38,500 for those with less than two years of experience and up to $40,000 for officers with two to five years of experience. Furthermore, the agreement proposes performance-based bonuses of up to $1,000 for officers with more than five years of experience, along with increases of up to 3 percent of the base salary depending on the officers’ tenure on the force.

The agreement’s retention pay adjustments and performance incentives are designed to bring University Police’s wages closer to those of competing agencies in the area.

“We had the best and strongest package in the State University System because we believe our initiative to strengthen campus safety is critical,” USF President Judy Genshaft said in a statement. “We believe this new contract will make the University more competitive with other police agencies in the area.”