Sheriff wants to boost Nash deputies' pay | The Enterprise
SearchHelpSubscribe / renew
Login

Sheriff wants to boost Nash deputies' pay

Posted on April 5, 2021

Local newsTop news
Nash County deputies, shown here during training last week, earn an average of 20% less than officers in surrounding law enforcement agencies. Sheriff Keith Stone wants county commissioners to approve an additional $1.7 million in annual salaries for his deputies.

Contributed photo

Nash County deputies, shown here during training last week, earn an average of 20% less than officers in surrounding law enforcement agencies. Sheriff Keith Stone wants county commissioners to approve an additional $1.7 million in annual salaries for his deputies.

lkay@springhopeenterprise.com | 252-265-8117

NASHVILLE — Nash County deputies earn much less than their counterparts in surrounding law enforcement agencies, according to a recent pay study conducted at the behest of Sheriff Keith Stone.

“It’s depressing, is what it is,” Stone told The Enterprise last week after county commissioners received the information during a budget meeting.

Nash deputies earn an average of 20% less than deputies in Pitt County and officers with police departments in Wilson, Greenville and Rocky Mount, according to the study prepared and presented by Maj. Allen Wilson of the Nash County Sheriff’s Office.

Stone said his deputies need and deserve a competitive wage. He’s requested pay increases that would cost the county around $1.7 million a year.

“I would put my deputies up against any in the state,” Stone said. “We set a benchmark for cases solved, calls for service, guns, gangs and drugs. We compare favorably with every other sheriff’s office in North Carolina. We are leading almost every county in North Carolina in asset forfeitures. But our salaries are subpar. It’s a shame. It’s a disgrace we are so far ahead in all these areas and so far behind in pay.”

Stone said his study looks at comparable agencies in the local job market area.

Nash County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robbie Davis said county employees are working on a pay study that will look at eight sheriff’s offices in the state that have population and total assessed property values comparable to Nash.

“I’m not aware of any professional study that would compare sheriff’s offices to police departments,” Davis said. “It’s apples and oranges. They are just different animals.”

Plus, Davis said, all 700 of the county’s employees do a great job, so commissioners can’t just improve deputy pay and ignore all the other hardworking employees.

“Very few of our employees don’t do an excellent job,” Davis said. “We have good people throughout.”

Commissioners plan to put money in the upcoming fiscal year’s budget to fund a salary study for the entire county.

The sheriff’s office study has Rocky Mount’s police chief position receiving an annual salary of $152,000. That may be a little higher than the actual pay.

Robert Hassell, who’s been offered the police chief job, will receive $145,000, according to city officials.

Either way, it’s a lot more than Stone makes. He earns $127,000 a year, the lowest salary out of any of the agency leaders listed in the study.

The sheriff’s office study finds that a captain in Rocky Mount earns around $90,000 a year and a captain at the Wilson Police Department earns $88,500, but a captain in Nash County earns only an average of $68,188.

A captain in Nash County earns 27% less than the market average. The difference is greater for a lieutenant at 32%.

Nash County suffers from pay compression where the starting salary for a new deputy is decent, comparable to both Rocky Mount and Wilson. The problem is as a Nash deputy moves up in the ranks, his or her pay doesn’t increase much.

By the time a Nash deputy has been on the job for a decade, he or she is earning an average of $6,000 less than law enforcement officers at the other agencies.

The compression is so bad in Nash County that a deputy with only a year or two on the job is making only about $3,000 a year less than a deputy with 15 years of experience, according to the sheriff’s office study.

Stone wants a new pay structure that will automatically increase salaries based on experience and completion of certain training.

Davis said the county has a pay range for each position with increases available for tenure, education, experience and job performance as determined mostly by immediate supervisors.

Related content

Cold front brings chance of late-April frost

The most pleasant weather of the week in the Wilson Times area is forecast for Tuesday, but an activ...

Town won't intervene in collapsed building dispute

SPRING HOPE — Town officials say they won’t step between downtown property owners in their feud over...

Spring Hope seeks developers for 2 downtown buildings

SPRING HOPE — Town commissioners have approved the sale of two downtown buildings, which would expan...


Local News

Albert Thomas Jr.

WEATHERCAST

Cold front brings chance of late-April frost

By Al Thomas
| April 20, 2021

The most pleasant weather of the week in the Wilson Times area is forecast for Tuesday, but an activ...

A feral cat spotted last week ignores the vacate order in place at the old Bubbles & Bows Pet Salon. The groomer and two other businesses have been closed since an adjacent building's wall collapsed in November.

Town won't intervene in collapsed building dispute

By Lindell J. Kay
| April 19, 2021

SPRING HOPE — Town officials say they won’t step between downtown property owners in their feud over...

The Spring Hope Board of Commissioners has approved a request for proposals for two town-owned buildings and is seeking developers who want to turn the empty storefronts into restaurants or retail outlets.

Spring Hope seeks developers for 2 downtown buildings

By Lindell J. Kay
| April 19, 2021

SPRING HOPE — Town commissioners have approved the sale of two downtown buildings, which would expan...

Trending recipes