Sheriff says public safety raise already helping

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, July 18, 2023

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According to Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff, the public safety raises recently approved by the county are already helping find new deputies and jail staff.

On July 11, the Troup County Board of Commissioners approved the Public Safety Retention Plan County Manager Eric Mosley recommended. The move came partially at the request of Woodruff, who asked the commissioners to provide raises for TCSO deputies and jailers to help curb the tide of employees leaving for other departments.

Mosley ultimately recommended $6,000 raises for certified deputies — including deputy marshals — and certified fire department and 911 personnel. Jailers were also provided $4,500 raises.

“The raise is really going a long way and has gone a long way in helping us get more people down here,” Woodruff said.

Woodruff said that since the raises, they have already done several jailer interviews and at least one deputy interview.

“We’re very thankful to the commissioners for giving us that raise, to try to attract people to even want to apply, because this day and time, people just don’t want to be law enforcement,” Woodruff said.

Woodruff said the move will hopefully provide more qualified candidates.

“Hopefully with this raise is going to get us some people that do want to be in law enforcement and are qualified to at least be law enforcement,” Woodruff said. “We get some that would love to be in law enforcement. However, they’re just not qualified to be in law enforcement. You’ve got to pick through those.”

The raises came in swift response to the City of LaGrange increasing the starting pay for LPD officers to $60,000. Other current officers will receive $8,000 raises.

Woodruff noted that the raises will not put them on par with the city. With the new raises, certified TCSO salaries will start at just over $50,000.

Woodruff said TCSO will likely never be able to match LPD perfectly. Still, the new raises have slowed attrition, allowing them to compete with other law enforcement agencies.