When compared to similar cities in Oklahoma by crime rate, City of Lawton pay scales for police officers, sergeants, lieutenants and captains fall short of its peers, even after modest pay increases over the last few years.
The information utilized to make these comparisons are the base pay rates among officers, sergeants, lieutenants, and captains in Lawton, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Norman and Enid, based on the most recent pay information available (FY2019 and FY2020 pay scales as negotiated).
Police officers in Lawton are compensated between $18.71 per hour to $30.02 per hour, depending on tenure. In comparison, Tulsa officers are paid 15% to 21% higher, Norman officers are paid 4% to 32% higher, and Oklahoma City officers are paid 23% to 25% higher than Lawton officers. Norman officers can earn up to $39.02 per hour base pay with the highest rank and tenure. Enid officers are paid 2% to 5% less than those in Lawton.
These discrepancies are replicated among sergeants, lieutenants and captains, as well. Police sergeants in Lawton can expect to be paid more than 15% less than those in Oklahoma City, Norman and Tulsa, and as much as 19% less than Enid sergeants.
Lieutenants earn 15% less than those in Norman, as much as 18% less than in Tulsa, and 34% less than those in Oklahoma City. Starting lieutenant’s pay in Enid is 16% higher, with similar pay for those with the most tenure and experience. Oklahoma City lieutenants earn more base pay at $39.94 per hour than the most senior Lawton lieutenants, who earn $38.48 per hour.
Captain’s pay in Lawton is 11% to 25% less than in Oklahoma City, and 9% to 18% less than in Norman and Tulsa. The maximum pay for a police captain in Lawton, $43.50 per hour, is lower than the base pay available in Oklahoma City, which is $43.68 per hour. The disparity at the highest levels (major/deputy chief) are even greater for Lawton when compared to this list.
While Lawton’s population does not stack up evenly against Oklahoma City, Norman and Tulsa, the rate of crime experienced in Lawton places it among the top areas in the state. Bringing pay rates more in line with these population centers could be a way to entice more people to join the Lawton Police Department as well as attract more experienced officers to help combat an increasing crime rate as experienced over the last decade.