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Deputies want raises

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November 10, 2004

Thomas County - Chuck McDonald has worked for the Thomas County Sheriff's Department more than four years. On Wednesday, he's one of only four deputies on patrol. He says, "It's around 575-580, which is a lot of square miles with four deputies patrolling."

There's a lot of work that goes into keeping Thomas County safe. "A good bit of your off days," says McDonald, "you're at court working extra." Going above and beyond the call of duty, for less compensation than they think they deserve.

McDonald says, "I don't think you could find a Deputy with the county that is unhappy with the job they've got, it's just the pay right now." As of January 1st, 2004, starting pay for a Deputy in Thomas County was only $9.30, starting pay for an officer within the city of Thomasville is $11.91 an hour, that's a difference of more than $5,000 per year.

"I'd made a study of surrounding areas and we were starting our deputies considerably lower," says Sheriff Carlton Powell. The starting pay for Deputies was raised earlier this year, but it's still not where the Sheriff believes it needs to be, money he thinks the taxpayers would gladly provide.

"If you provide good services," says Powell, "they don't complain too much about the money things."

And even though their pay is low, officers like Deputy McDonald don't complain either, because he says, "To me the county's the best place to work for." A place he'll continue to work, and hopefully soon, for a little more pay.

The Thomas County Commission will hold a budget workshop that is open to the public next Tuesday, at 9AM at the Elijah Hill Building in Thomasville.

posted at 5:06 PM by karen.collier@walb.com

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