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White County Sheriff Says Pay Studies Have Fallen On Deaf Ears

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
White County Sheriff Says Pay Studies Have Fallen On Deaf Ears

White County Sheriff Steve Page said the department has already done salary studies, but the commission failed to notice.

Page said he doesn’t know if the commission purposefully ignored the studies or if they just didn’t see them, but studies have been done multiple times of surrounding counties’ pay scales.

“We went around to the surrounding counties showing what each county pays, starts off and tops out at as far as a deputy goes and as far as corrections officers go,” Page said. “And they had that information, it is there. We get a pay scale from Henderson County which has the same tax base as we do, almost the same number of employees and everything, and give them that.”

Page’s concern stems from a county commission vote on the sheriff departments budget Monday night. Page said his personnel were underpaid and the Jail risks being decertified by the state. At least one County commissioner said in the aftermath the county did need to do more for all of its emergency personnel. Commissioner Dakota White suggested a pay study.

Page said the most recent study shows that White County officer’s pay tops out at what Sparta officers start at, despite county officers taking twice as many calls. He said smaller counties with fewer calls in the area pay more as well.

“It’s not hard to see that we’re underpaid,” Page said. “There’s another county that joins White County that don’t have half the people that White County has, and don’t even answer a quarter of the calls that White County Sherrif department answers, that pays there deputies more than White County pays there.”

Page said Sparta officers also get free insurance and county officers do not, and insurance for officers is something he asked for in the most recent budget.

Page said he is against raising taxes and does not believe a tax raise is necessary to fix the problem. He said the county could better appropriate the money they already have for the Sheriff and EMS departments.

“I would never ask for what we want, I’m asking for what we need,” Page said. “And that needs to be specified.”

Page said a change needs to be made soon because if employees see they can make more money in surrounding counties, White County will be left without the proper manpower to run the sheriff’s office and the County Jail.


The post White County Sheriff Says Pay Studies Have Fallen On Deaf Ears appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.