Sheriff says 5 percent pay raise will cost one patrol deputy and one jail employee

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Independence County Sheriff Shawn Stephens told White River Now’s Gary Bridgman yesterday that he has made arrangements in the sheriff’s department budget to cover the 5 percent pay raise recently approved by the quorum court. (For more on this story, click here.)

The court basically said: We approve the five percent pay raise for each of your employees — now you figure out a way to fund the cost.

“Next year, I don’t know how I will cover the raise,” Stephens said, “but I do know we cannot stand to lose another deputy and jailer. We are way understaffed as it is.”

Stephens said in order to have the funding for the raise, which he says is well-deserved, it will cost the department the hiring of one patrol deputy and one jail employee.

The sheriff said he had those two positions to fill, so now he will not make those hires, and instead use the funds this year to cover the 5 percent raise for all employees in the department.

“Next year, I don’t know how I will cover the raise,” Stephens said, “but I do know we cannot stand to lose another deputy and jailer. We are way understaffed as it is.”

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