Deputy Sheriff’s Salary Supplementation Fund Changes

In 2008, the Missouri legislature passed a bill allowing for supplementation of sheriff’s deputies salaries across the state through a grant program known as the Deputy Sheriff’s Salary Supplementation Fund (DSSSF). There were certain stipulations set forth that any sheriff’s office wishing to receive grant funding was required to follow. The Camden County Sheriff’s Office met those stipulations and began receiving those funds in 2012. The sheriff’s office continued applying for the grant each year since then after meeting all the stipulations set forth by the legislature.

The Missouri Sheriff Methamphetamine Relief Taskforce Board (MoSMART) determined the amount of money to be granted to each individual deputy sheriff. Last year’s grant, which ran from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 allowed for each deputy sheriff making less than $29,000 per year to be supplemented the difference. This meant that a sheriff’s deputy making $23,600 would receive a supplement of $5,400, bringing their pay to $29,000.

In September of 2015, the Camden County Commission gave a $1.02 per hour pay raise to each county employee. Sheriff’s deputies received this raise in addition to the supplement funds which were already granted meaning some were now making approximately $31,000. When the sheriff’s office applied for the grant again this year we reported the pay rate of each employee. The MoSMART Board, using the current salary figures including the 2015 $1.02 per hour pay raise, lowered the amount of grant funding for each individual deputy so their pay would not exceed $29,000.

The sheriff’s office notified the Camden County Commission of these changes in a letter earlier this year. It reads, in part:

“While discussing [the grant] process with you last year, we expressed our concern with what appears to be an emerging DSSSF trend. With two consecutive years of benefit reductions, we believed we should make provisions to remove ourselves from the DSSSF altogether and suggested adjustments to the 2016 budget to do just that. Those adjustments were refused and instead we suffered enormous cuts to our 2016 budget.”

The sheriff’s office has maintained since the inception of the DSSSF that this was only a temporary solution to the problem in how we pay sheriff’s deputies a living wage, much less one competitive with other professional law enforcement agencies in the region. Each year, the sheriff’s office presents a budget proposal to the Camden County Commission detailing the need for a salary scale that would eliminate dependence on the DSSSF. As long as the CCSO is dependent on the DSSSF, we will have no real control of how much sheriff’s deputies are paid. Any increase in salary will be offset by the reduction of the grant funds.

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