KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Gov. Bill Lee announced Wednesday a 37% salary increase for new Tennessee Department of Correction correctional officers amid nationwide staffing challenges. The pay increase will go into effect Dec. 16.

“As we face staffing shortages across the country, rewarding officers with competitive pay will ensure we recruit and retain the most highly qualified individuals in our workforce,” Lee said. “These Tennesseans play a crucial role in ensuring public safety, and we remain committed to valuing their important work.”

Current security staff will receive a minimum 15% pay increase. Additionally, TDOC provides a competitive benefits package including insurance coverage and retirement benefits, paid holidays and vacation, tuition reimbursement and college degree programs. Equipment and uniforms are provided.

TDOC will continue to offer a $5,000 hiring bonus and part-time opportunities for current or retired law enforcement to meet staffing needs.

“The men and women who work in facilities across Tennessee are dedicated public servants,” said TDOC interim Commissioner Lisa Helton. “This salary increase makes our agency more competitive in attracting new talent and is a well-deserved raise for those currently serving our state.”

Those interested in can find more information and apply here.