Miami County, Ohio – Local authorities have been experiencing staffing shortages for years now, but the pandemic made things even worse in the last couple of months.
In an effort to keep the existing deputies on duty and make the open job positions more attractive, Miami County will help the Sheriff Office with increasing the salaries in the upcoming period.
That said, a three-year contract between Miami County and its sheriff’s deputies includes salary increases designed to keep employees from leaving for higher paying agencies after the county invests in their training.
Per the contract that was approved last week by the county commissioners, deputies’ salaries will be increased by 3% each year after a one-time $2 per hour increase at the beginning of 2022.
With the salary increase in place, the pay scale for these positions will be between $59,000 and $72,000 in 2022 with the increases.
The existing contract with the deputies was set to expire at the end of the next year, but was renewed now in order to make the changes applicable.
According to the county commissioners, undisclosed number of trained deputies decided to leave the local sheriff office for higher paying law enforcement agencies. They believe that the lower salaries are the major reason why deputies are leaving the department. With the changes in place, they hope to keep the existing staff in place and even make the open job positions more attractive for potential candidates.
“If the market is dictating those types of wages, we clearly had to make some inroads to be able to compete and retain good employees. The training and experience deputies gain over several years is invaluable, and to lose all of that to other agencies is costly to the county,” Sheriff Dave Duchak said.
Since the start of this year, the sheriff office is shorter for a total of 8 deputies. According to information provide by the county commissioners, six deputies confirmed they are leaving the department for other, higher paying law enforcement positions. One deputy retired, while another decided to pursue other interests.
“We are grateful that the Fraternal Order of Police and the sheriff’s office came to an agreement. This was an agreement that was ahead of schedule, which speaks highly of the trust and camaraderie that exists throughout the sheriff’s department,” Commission President Greg Simmons said.
The department has a similar problem with the correction officers. Every year, a decent number of correction officers decide to leave their current job mostly because of the 12-hour-long shifts and low wages. Understandably, majority of them have a goal to become deputies or other officer in law enforcement.
Duchak confirmed that similar contract is expected to take place next year. Negotiations should start sometime in 2022.