Entry-level pay for new Brunswick patrol officers is now $ 20 per hour, and retroactive to July 1, 2016, per a contractual agreement approved by the Brunswick Town Councilors Tuesday.

The increase, up several dollars an hour, is aimed to help Brunswick compete with other police departments also looking for new officers.

The town continues to work out health benefit details.

Assistant Town Manager Derek Scrapchansky said Brunswick’s hiring challenge is not unique; police departments across the state and nation are in the same boat.

The council’s vote was unanimous.

Also approved Jan. 17 is a continuation of legal services between the town and New England law firm Preti Flaherty. Stephen Langsdorf

’s retainer for his legal work on behalf of Brunswick increases from $ 5,600 to $ 5,900 a month. Additional work may be billed on an hourly basis, said Town Manager John Eldridge.

Councilors unanimously approved the amended contract.

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