September 25, 2012

County competes in salary arena

By Stu Merry, BHG News Service

It’s about being competitive. And right now, when it comes to compensation for its law enforcement officers, McLean County is about a lap down with the finish line in sight. County commissioners said they would like that to change. At the preliminary budget hearing meeting Sept. 18, Commissioner Steve Lee took a close look at what is proposed for deputy compensation. “I don’t think we are in the ballpark where we need to be with that,” he observed. Commissioners heard that Mountrail County offers about $10,000 more a year for deputy pay. Mercer County is about $38,000 annually, plus benefits. Oliver County’s starting wage for a deputy is about $34,000. Sheridan County is about $32,000. McLean County deputies begin at less than $29,000 a year. Lee proposed that starting salary should be in the $31,000 range with $35,000 following probation period. “If we aren’t competitive – were going to lose our prime candidates – we’ll train these guys and in a year they are gone,” Lee said. “I think we’re starving them, I really do.”

The Weather Network