Myrtle Beach employees will be receiving more than $3 million in bonuses next month as a thank-you for working overtime and picking up the slack while the city dealt with staffing shortages during the past year.
The city’s current job vacancy rate is just under 14%, but that includes 49 new positions that were added during the current fiscal year. The biggest need is in law enforcement, and officials said they are continuing to recruit new officers.
“I would say the police department is probably the greatest need right now,” city spokesman Mark Kruea said. “We added 25 new police officers in this year’s budget. It’s a job that does great public service, is very rewarding for the people who do it, and yet, it’s one of those that’s under a microscope these days. “
To help encourage recruitment in all areas, the department has significantly raised its salaries.
“As a part of this year’s budget, we had done a class in compensation study and we realized that we were out of whack with the market, in other words, what we were paying our people,” ” Kruea said. “We did adjust salaries. That was a big boost for our folks.”
The increase means Myrtle Beach now has one of the highest-paid police departments in the state.
An excellent health insurance package and a great work environment are two things that make the city an attractive place to work, one recently hired city worker said.
“Everybody is really welcoming, and they did a great job of showing me kind of their grant process,” Drayton Arnold said. “I was previously a grants manager. “Everyone does a great job of just being helpful to me and kind of showing me the ropes so to speak.”
The city is still looking to fill various part-time and full-time positions.