Raising Deputy Pay
Sheriffs and deputies from across Missouri are trying to tell the state to fund deputy pay for smaller sheriff departments. The Missouri Sheriff's Association says deputy salaries in some counties are as low as $22,000.
"There's a lot of rural sheriffs departments where their deputies don't make anywhere near a living wage and we think the state needs to take notice of that and be able to provide adequately for law enforcement statewide," Sheriff Greg White of Cole County, said.
The low pay impacts county law enforcement recruitment, retention and training. The Senate interim committee is aware of the issue. One idea is for state revenue to fund the departments, but Senator John Griesheimer disagrees.
"We're kidding ourselves and everybody else if we say we are going to fund sheriff departments out of state general revenues, it's not going to happen," Griesheimer said.
Griesheimer suggested that departments raise civil suit and process fees and other alternatives.