Williamson County deputies hoping for raise

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by JESSICA HOLLOWAY / KVUE News & photojournalist SCOTT MCKENNEY

kvue.com

Posted on August 2, 2013 at 6:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 13 at 4:25 PM

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas -- Sheriff's Deputies in Williamson County say are hoping for a raise for the first time in five years. Members of the union say the starting salary of a new deputy is below the market and they haven't been able to compete with other agencies. Commissioners will vote at the end of the month.

At their last meeting, commissioners voted to give elected officials four percent raises and constables and justices of the peace five percent raises. A $97,000 salary study paid for by the county revealed that deputies are underpaid.

"They did find in the study that law enforcement is lower in the market, so they're looking at bringing that salary up," said Williamson County Public Affairs Director Connie Watson.

A brand new deputy in Williamson County starts off making around $42,000 a year.

Commissioners will each make $89,000 each year, an increase of $3,000 a year for the next two years.

The sheriff is bumped up to $111,000, an increase of $4,000 each year.

The county attorney will now make around $138,000, an increase of $5,000 each year. The county court at law judges will make $157,000 a year, with an increase of $18,000 each year. The county judge will make $107,000, an increase of $4,000 each year.

"Every year, according to their tenure, they do get  about a two percent increase as part of their tenure plan," said Watson, talking about law enforcement in Williamson County.

Deputies say if they don't get raises to bridge the gap now, they fear losing good officers and losing specialized units.

"We're definitely still the in process. Nothing is final yet. Nothing has been decided yet. There's a lot of discussion that has to take place," said Watson.

The company who audited the county will make a presentation to commissioner's court August 13. Commissioners will vote on the budget August 19 and 20. A final budget hearing is set for August 27.

Commissioners say they are considering several options. 

CORRECTION: In a previous story KVUE reported that commissioners are considering phasing in a raise over the next three years. According to a spokeswoman for the county, Connie Watson, commissioners did not specify what options, if any, they are considering. 

 

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