Letter to the Editor: Shenandoah County deputies need raise

Editor:

Where is the outrage and concern among Shenandoah County residents? Outrage that our deputies have not had a salary raise in several years and concern that Sheriff Carter has difficulty retaining a deputy staff for this reason. The Sheriff’s Office spends a considerable amount of time and funds training deputies, only to see them leave for better paying jobs.

In the past three to four years, we have lost 16 deputies, most to jurisdictions within our own county because of pay disparity. These deputies are on duty for us 24/7, with their personal safety always at risk. Why have our supervisors steadfastly refused Sheriff Carter his requests year after year to make our deputies’ pay commensurate with surrounding areas? I can think of only one reason: our

supervisors are using a vendetta against Sheriff Carter personally as payback for his not supporting the county’s participation in the regional jail, which I point out, has become a complete debacle and unnecessary tax burden for the country, as our sheriff predicted.

Are we going to continue to allow our supervisors to turn a blind eye to this situation at the expense of our safety? One has only to read the newspaper to know the extent that crime and drugs have permeated our area. We must have competent, able, and dedicated law enforcement to keep crime at bay. We must have well-trained deputies who can respond quickly and capably when we need them.

We have to pay our deputies a fair wage – they should expect no less from us.

It is past time for the supervisors to fund our Sheriff’s Office so that it can more effectively defend and protect its citizens. It is past time for an immediate substantial deputy pay raise.

Please call your supervisor today and tell him or her that you want our deputies paid fairly. Show Sheriff Carter and our deputies the support, gratitude, and respect they deserve.

Anne Zirkle, Conicville

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