I read with interest the recent article entitled, “Sheriff offers grim stats on turnover to prime the pump for proposed raises” [The Alamance News, May 20, 2021 edition].
Those who know me would likely say that I am a fiscal conservative. Certainly, that is a true statement. That having been said, I support Sheriff Terry Johnson’s request of a 5-percent pay raise for each of the sheriff department’s sworn officers.
When crime seems to be increasing all around us, Sheriff Johnson has kept Alamance County citizens safe. In addition to the usual calls the department has had to respond to, the protests in Graham have required the attention of the department’s sworn officers.
I was surprised to read that our deputies are paid significantly less than officers of the City of Burlington and deputies in surrounding counties. The article reported that our deputies start out at $34,917 while Burlington police officers start out at $41,213 and surrounding counties pay their new deputies: Guilford – $40,425, Orange – $41,026, and Durham – $49,292.
It is not a wonder that the sheriff explained that we lose deputies to other agencies where salary is higher.
Even if the 5%increase per sworn deputy that our sheriff has requested is approved, our sworn deputies will still be paid significantly less than those in surrounding counties.
Our deputies place their lives in jeopardy for us every day yet I know some deputies who have to work second jobs just to feed their families.
Alamance County needs to give our sheriff the resources he needs in order to recruit, train, and maintain sworn officers.
530 Woodlawn Road