Supervisors to raise pay for underpaid deputies

Sheriff’s Office lost 14 deputies, 17 dispatchers in last two year

By Heather Michon

Pay for Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office deputies is set to rise, as the Board of Supervisors voted on Wednesday night (Oct. 6) on a series of measures they hope will allow the department to attract and retain law enforcement officers and staff.

Raising the pay for deputies has been a long-running discussion between the Supervisors and the Sheriff’s Office. Pay for deputies in Fluvanna is lower than in surrounding counties, making it harder to recruit and retain deputies.

For example, Louisa County has raised its starting pay for non-certified candidates to $51,000. Goochland County’s starting salary is $53,000. By comparison, a recruit in Fluvanna starts at $38,000.

Sheriff Eric Hess said his department had lost 14 deputies and 17 dispatchers in the last two years. The department has lost nearly $575,000 in training and equipment alone.

Hess and Major David Wells presented two plans: one would raise starting salaries for deputies in training to $44,500 and then increase to $47,500; the other would start at $46,000 and raise to $49,000. There would also be a $2-5 an hour increase in pay for deputies depending on seniority and other factors.

They said the second plan, in particular, would make Fluvanna County most competitive with surrounding agencies.

County Administrator Eric Dahl said the increase was projected to cost the county $240,645 in FY22 and $320,860 in FY23.

There was little debate among the Supervisors over the need to raise the salaries for the Sheriff’s Office, although Supervisors Donald Weaver (Cunningham) was uncomfortable with the idea of making the change outside the normal budgeting process.

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