November 12, 2014

County Commission discusses extra-duty stipend for deputies

Oliver County is short one sheriff’s deputy for the second time this year. When all three deputy positions are filled, Sheriff Dave Hilliard and each of the deputies rotate on a schedule of 12-hour shifts. Having only three people on the schedule requires working some 24-hour shifts and longer than usual stretches without time off.
Deputy Brandon Doll appeared before the commission to provide an overview of the working conditions and to ask the commissioners if they would be willing to consider a flat-rate stipend to compensate for the extra hours. Doll presented the stipend as a means to compensate the deputies, as they do not receive overtime pay for working the double shifts.
“Currently, for one deputy to take a day off the other would work four days straight, or, if two days off were taken, the remaining deputy would work seven days straight,” Doll explained, suggesting a flat-rate stipend of $200 be paid per double shift. “The stipend would not increase the county budget, as the funds are already available for the deputy position that is currently open.”
Commissioner Lee Husfloen asked if Doll had checked with the state labor board and with the county attorney. Doll confirmed that he had, and there is nothing in the law to prohibit the county from paying a stipend to the deputies. However, as an elected official, Hilliard may not be able to accept additional compensation.
There was discussion about how the shifts were being allocated between the current Sheriff’s Office personnel, and how the situation was handled when the department was short-staffed last February. Doll also clarified that the request for a stipend is only for when the department is not fully staffed.
“It makes sense,” Commissioner Blake Wilkins said. “[The deputies are working the extra time.”

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