My fellow citizens:
The sheriff recently requested a raise for Richmond County Sheriff’s Office deputies. In his presentation to the Augusta Commission, he outlined a significant deficiency in their salaries.
Presently, all of the surrounding agencies – Columbia County, Aiken County and Burke County sheriff’s offices, and North Augusta Public Safety and the Richmond County Marshal’s Office – pay significantly more than the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
Richmond County sheriff’s deputies are among our most important public employees and ensure the safety and security of the community. We must act to pay them what they are worth.
Anecdotally, we all know that Richmond County deputies work in an environment where they take double or triple the risks and do double or triple the work of these other law enforcement agencies. Most deputies I know do not do it for the money, but they also have families to feed and will go elsewhere if they do not feel valued.
I believe the Augusta Commission can find the money for these raises. If this is not possible, I believe most citizens would support a half-mill increase to fund the raises for the sheriff’s office.
Please join me in supporting this raise. Please contact your county commissioners and urge them to support these raises!
The writer is a former Richmond County commissioner.