Deputies get pay increases sooner than expected

Joyce L. Miller

Camden County Sheriff’s Department deputies eligible for pay increases promised with the passage of a 1/4 cent sales tax will see their pay increase sooner than the anticipated. The Camden County Commission has approved allocated $250,000 to implement the increases beginning Sept. 1 instead of Jan. 1, 2022.

The $250,000 was approved by all three commissioners in an unanimous vote just days after the passage of the tax. 

Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty said for far too long deputies in Camden County have been making far less than what they should have been paid in a competitive wage market and the county is in a financial position to do it. 

Hasty said with the passage of the sales tax, an anticipated increase in gas tax funds and increases in sales tax revenue, the county is in a better position financially than it has been in the past. 

“We have so many more people coming here, the calls these deputies have to handle continue to increase, and the money is there,” he said. “So, we need to make it happen now.” 

Voters approved the law enforcement sales tax on Aug. 3. The 1/4 cent sales tax on goods and services in Camden County is expected to generate approximately $2.4 million annually for the sheriff’s department. Unlike the law enforcement sales tax (LEST) that is split between several different departments, the sales tax is earmarked specifically for the sheriff’s department.

Of the money raised by the tax, Sheriff Tony Helms estimates between $600,000-$650,000 will be used for pay raises to get deputies to $42,000 a year.