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Campbell commissioners raise sheriff’s office salary budget by $663K

Campbell County commissioners this morning unanimously approved more than $600,000 in increases for the Campbell County Sheriff's Office's salary budget.

Campbell County Sheriff Scott Matheny (left) and Executive Director Brandy Elder propose increases in compensation for employees. (GPA-TV)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — This morning, Campbell County commissioners unanimously approved more than $600,000 in increases for the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office’s salary budget.

The increases include the following:

  • A $1.50 per hour increase for 112 officer salaries for sworn and detention officers, amounting to $268,478
  • $192,077 in overtime, over 16 pay periods
  • $57,500 for an equipment allowance
  • Two court security positions, prompted by the addition of two new courtrooms, amounting to $81,210
  • One master of records position, for maintenance needs, amounting to $63,518

Human Resources Executive Director Brandy Elder said the office is finding it very difficult to hire and retain people as deputies and detention officers. The office has more than six openings available in these roles, which makes staffing and overtime difficult. The county tends to train employees and then lose them to competitors.

Sheriff Scott Matheny said officers have to buy their own weapon, leather and carriers. While the office has the mindset that officers who buy their own equipment will take better care of it, officers still need to have uniformity and use only certain weapons for tactical reasons. New officers invest more than $1,000 into outfitting themselves. An annual equipment allowance would benefit the officers and the community.

Several law enforcement agencies around the state purchase all-new equipment for their officers, according to the memo from Elder.

The proposal sought up to $500 per officer per year. Elder said officers would turn in purchase receipts for reimbursement.

Overtime is to fill understaffed shifts, Matheny said. He plans to advance current employees to take the court security positions and backfill. Court security officers need a week of special training. If the office waits until January or the opening of the courtroom, they could pull detention or patrol officers to fill those spots, but training for detention and patrol takes several weeks. He is sure the two officers will help handle the current workload at the sheriff’s office and the courtroom.

The new pay structure pay period begins Nov. 27. The budget amendment hearing will be Dec. 19.

“We have one of the best law enforcement agencies in the state working here, and it is because of the support that we have from you guys,” Matheny said to the commissioners.

According to a proposal presented at a September commissioners meeting, the Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center’s total budget is $20.8 million. Personnel expenses account for $18.1 million of that amount. The rest is dedicated to items like inmate food and medical care, building maintenance and technology.