The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office continues to struggle with employee turnover, and it was highlighted at the Jackson County Commission meeting Monday afternoon.
Commission Chairman Tim Guffey read a letter from the Sheriff’s Office at the commission meeting. The letter read:
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has now lost a total of six deputies in the last nine months: One to Scottsboro Police Department, one to the State Troopers, one to the State Park Rangers, two to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and one to become a truck driver. During exit interviews, they all stated that the reason for leaving was no pay raises and little hope of getting raises along with the high cost of family insurance coverage. Below is a comparison of all surrounding Alabama counties which normally supplies our pool of applicants.
Jackson County Sheriff’s Office
• Deputies with Academy Certification hired at $15.54 per hour.
• Receive at 40 cent raise at one-year anniversary of academy graduation to $15.94 per hour.
• No cost of living increases for past 10 years.
• Have received only one 3% raise in past 10 years.
• Received two one-time only pay increase on $500-$700 in past 10 years.
• Family Insurance cost is $700+ per month.
Marshall County Sheriff’s Office
• Deputies with Academy Certification hired at $15.44 per hour. (Recent $2 per hour increase)
• Due to recent increase, they have waived their standard 3% each year raise but this will continue in 2021.
• Family insurance is $125 per month.
DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office
• Deputies with Academy Certification hired at $16.31 per hour.
• Receive 3% pay increase each year for 12 years with a topped-out salary of $23.47.
• Receive between 2%-4% cost of living increase each year which increases the topped out salary each year.
• Family Insurance is $580 per month.
Madison County Sheriff’s Office
• Deputies with Academy Certification hired at $21.00 per hour.
• New hires have been told they will receive a $1 raise in six months to $22 per hour.
• Normally receive a 3% raise each year.
• Normally receive a 1%-2% cost of living raise each year.
• Family Insurance is $200 per month.
Guffey said the Sheriff’s Office has a hard time of getting qualified applicants.
“Something needs to be done. I hope at some point we can change the way we’ve been going,” said Guffey.
He said the commission has not lowered the Sheriff’s Office budget, but he said the commission could not do anything until the legislators find a way to increase revenue.
Sheriff Chuck Phillips said that his office is struggling.
“I’m contemplating not filling the two openings we’ll have at the end of the month and using that money to give my people a pay raise just to keep them,” said Phillips.
He said they might start sending deputies home at midnight like they did when he started in 1988, and there would be deputies on call.
“I have to do something for my people to keep them. We cannot work with 20 brand new deputies. You have to have experience and you’re not going to get experience if you’re not paying for it,” said Phillips.
Phillips said they just do not have enough people, and call volume is increasing every day.