Ashton Marra Published

Senators Consider Pay Raise for DNR Officers


Members of the Senate Natural Resources Committee took up a bill that would give Division of Natural Resources law enforcement officers a raise in the upcoming fiscal year and every year following. 

The bill raises the base salary for new officers from $31,222 in their first year to $33,994. All other officers will receive a bump in the range of two to six thousand dollars a year.

The introduced version of the bill also grants the officers a $400 a year raise for every year they remain on the force.

Senate Bill 92 comes with a $1.1 million fiscal note for the upcoming budget year, and a $1.6 million implication for the following year. 

DNR law enforcement head Col. Jerry Jenkins told members of the committee his division is competing with the West Virginia State Police, counties and even some city departments that can pay more.

“Right now we’re trying to fill seven positions which we didn’t have much of an applicant pool to pull from,” he said, “and we’re finding a lot of these people have already applied for other agencies and they’ve been turned down.”

Jenkins also told the committee his officers, unlike many other law enforcement agencies, must have a four year degree or some combination of a two year degree with specialized law enforcement or military training.

The bill passed the committee and goes to Senate Finance for further consideration.