Sheriff Requests Raise for Workers

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The largest law enforcement agency in the county is lagging behind when it comes to employee's salary.

Thursday Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk asked commissioners to close the gap between what his deputies are paid and what Bryan and College Station officers receive.

"We believe our deputies should be paid the same or nearly the same as any other officer in this county," said Sheriff Kirk.

Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk is going to bat for his officers who make between 15 and 25 percent less than their counterparts in Bryan and College Station.

Kirk says commissioners have to raise the bar to stay competitive.

"If you look at the growth this county's experienced in the last 10 years and then know that county government hasn't kept pace -- we've got to catch up. We've got to be able to do our job and we have to have the resources to provide the citizens what they expect," said Sheriff Kirk.

His plea isn't falling on deaf ears.

Commissioners agree pay must increase, but just how much?

"In a growing community like this, the sheriff's got more people in the jail out there, there's more need for law enforcement on the streets and we're going to do our best to accommodate his request. But I'm sure they'll be some nashing of teeth," said Brazos County Judge Randy Sims.

While a compromise is likely, Kirk is requesting pay raises within 5 percent of the competition.

Currently county patrol officers start at around 37 thousand dollars a year.

Bryan officers make over 43 thousand and College Station pays over 40.

"If an officer can get 15 percent more starting and know he'll make 40 percent more as his career goes on -- what choice would you make?" said Sheriff Kirk.

Sheriff Kirk wants commissioners will make the choice an easy one.

Commissioners will hear more budget requests from other county departments before the budget is finalized October 1st.