Eaton County Sheriff’s Office sees staff shortages due to low pay

Eaton County Sheriff's Office sees staff shortages
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 5:17 PM EDT
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Update: Eaton County rejects proposed $10,000 bonuses for deputies

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WILX) - Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich said the county needs to pay its deputies more money or serious cuts could jeopardize public safety.

“I need deputies, my deputies are leaving for other departments who pay,” Reich said.

The chair of the Eaton County Public Safety Committee said it’s the biggest problem in the county.

The problem is nationwide, but it’s worse in the area. The county simply can’t compete with other departments in the area for pay. If they can hire deputies, getting them to stay is another battle.

“Eaton County is a little different,” Reich said. “I’m also hurting for deputies but I’m also hurting because of retention because they pay petter. I need staff now.”

In July, Eaton County dispatch assigned 1,047 calls to out-of-county deputies. Those calls were taken among seven deputies covering 400 square miles.

The situation is critical and Reich is concerned he may have to cut out road patrol.

“It’s devastating to the people in Eaton County and I don’t want to do that,” Reich said. “I’m looking at every avenue that I can to prevent that.”

Reich sent a letter to the Eaton County Board of Commissioners asking for each patrol and corrections deputy to be paid an extra $10,000 in 2022 and 2023.

The issue of pay will be sent to the Ways and Means Committee, who will decided whether or not to allocate a $10,000 off-schedule payment for the Sheriff’s Office.

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