Sheriff's Office to Study Salaries
Sgt. George Corwin has worked for the Alachua County Sheriff's Office for more than a decade.
And, he says, over the years, he's seen dozens of his colleagues leave the sheriff's office for other agencies.
The reason: "money."
Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell told a similar story to county commissioners at a budget meeting.
She says her deputies make far less in salary each year than their counterparts at other agencies, including those at the Gainesville Police Department.
So, after a few hours of debate, commissioners decided to move forward with two studies.
One study would look at how Alachua County sheriff's deputies' wages stack up with those at other agencies.
And the other: to consider reworking how the county allocates money to the Sheriff's Office.
Brandon Kutner, president of the deputies union with the Police Benevolent Association, says the wages study is long overdue.
"It costs far more money to train and hire new deputies than it does to retain the experience that we have," Kutner said.
Commissioners also agreed to contribute more money this year from their general fund for a few sheriff's office departments.
The sheriff's office would have otherwise faced an $800 thousand shortage.
"That budget is balanced by that shift of revenue from the general fund to the MSTU," Alachua County Manager Randall Reid said. "And there's not a requirement or need for the sheriff to reduce operating expenses or patrol services in the unincorporated area."
Services that Sgt. George Corwin says deserve comparable pay to those in other agencies.
"We're doing the same job," Corwin said.
A job he calls "underpaid," but says he'll keep at it until retirement.
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