To the editor:
Enough is enough! I have sat by and watched our Hancock County sheriff’s deputies go year after year without any type of a pay raise, and when they do get a raise, the county council turns around and gives it back for increased insurance premiums.
Yes, all county employees fall into the low-wage problem, but our deputies actually make less today than they did 10 years ago because a number of bonus programs were eliminated when the economy went south.
The county council in 2008 took away both longevity pay (for number of years served) and a pay bonus program for deputies who served on a special team (SWAT, dive team, etc.) or served as an instructor. Those incentives have never been reinstated.
Our deputies make less than the state police — even before their big future pay raise of 24 percent — our city police and the counties around us, especially Marion County.
We have in the past been in the upper 50 percent of pay, but that has long since gone. Hancock County was the sheriff’s department that would have law enforcement of other counties and cities trying to get on our department.
We now have our own deputies applying at other agencies because we are so out of line with our compensation package.
We have a really great sheriff’s department, with dedicated deputies who put their lives on the line every time they go to work.
Yes, I know this takes tax monies to do. I do not want to pay out more for property tax either. We always seem to come up with money for other needs like consultants and helping other projects with funding.
Please talk to your county council members about this. Give them a call. They are Bill Bolander (317-696-0826); Kent Fisk (who does not have his number on the county website); Jim Shelby (317-462-6415); Martha Vail (317-502-6997); Randy Sorrel (no number published); Jeannine Gray (317-586-7362); and Debbie Bledsoe (317-361-0126).
I know they are trying to do what is best. We are getting to the time where something has to be done.
Hancock County Sheriff’s Department Merit Board