Insultingly Low Sheriff Salaries Mean We Are Losing Officers And Those Who Stay Must Work Extra Jobs - And Response (2)

Thursday, May 23, 2019
I reckon it is time for the gloves to come off as negotiations seem to have broken down. 

I speak for no LE Agency, or LE entity. I speak only for myself, and my family, as a citizen, taxpayer and voter....

As you, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and our Hamilton County Commissioners sleep safely at night, there are men and women at the HCSO, wide awake keeping you safe and secure.

They are highly trained, they are efficient and they are equipped with the very latest in LE/Corrections technology thanks to Sheriff Hammond.

You, the taxpayer, have spent nearly $100,000, by the time they first hit the street, to make sure each and every one are there, at the right time and place, trained right, equipped right and ready to solve the problem, when you dial 911 for help.

Sadly, we are losing these heroes to other LE agencies and the private sector, solely due to the abysmal salary they are being paid.

I lost one member of my team yesterday who left because he couldn't make it on the salary he was being paid.
Another plans to leave in the fall of this year for the same reason. 

Every time one leaves due to this apathy and neglect by Mayor Jim Coppinger that is $100,000 of taxpayer dollars lost and another $100,000 we're going to have to spend to replace him, or her. 

The deputies of the HCSO do all this for an insultingly low wage as demonstrated by Mayor Jim Coppinger's own taxpayer financed 'Pay Study.' 

These HCSO deputies do this every day, every night, all night, and even on holidays.

Every HCSO deputy, right now, has to work two, three or even four extra jobs just to make ends meet which keeps them away from their families 60, or 70, sometimes 80 hours a week.

The HCSO Corrections Division has been on 'Mandatory Overtime' for many years due to manpower shortages as a result of the inability to recruit and retain deputies to staff the jail due to the low pay and ever increasing benefits premiums. 

Please give Mayor Jim Coppinger a call, or an email and demand he do the right thing.

Please call your Hamilton County Commissioners and demand they do what is right. 

Ask them to pay our HCSO deputies a fair and reasonable salary that their own 'Pay Study' told us is fair and reasonable.

Mark Kimsey

* * * 

Mr. Kimsey,

There are more than adequate funds in the Hamilton County general government fund balance coupled with revenue growth funds to give the HCSD a raise. I am sure that our County Mayor Coppinger and the Finance Department are contemplating existing resources. Perhaps, you should look at fund balances and growth revenue projections to be in possession of the real financial position of general county government. I bet Sheriff Hammond can provide and explain the financial data.

It would probably be better not to” take your gloves off,” as you wrote against a beloved county Finance Departments in Hamilton County, and our county mayor.     

Some government agencies are training grounds for others as benefits and salaries shift.  In the day, it was that state of Tennessee, and at times it is county government. There will always be competing job opportunity in any profession. I feel certain that our fine Hamilton County government is looking at these matters. Perhaps, you should attend the budget hearings and listen to your sheriff present needs of the HCSD.  

I don’t believe that the masses are against reasonable salary increases for HCSD from the existing resources and growth revenue for Hamilton County general government. Waste and low priority spending in county government needs to be addressed, as well.

Sheriff Hammond has covered the issues you have raised. The sheriff is on the budget case.

April Eidson

* * *

I just love April Edison response. She is so level headed! It's easy to get upset when people that risk their lives daily get underpaid. Those who give their lives in service our worthy of double honor and a labourer is worthy of their hire. 

However she is right, we all must follow our budgets. Our government sets a terrible example. According to CNN, "The Congressional Budget Office estimates that federal budget deficit will reach roughly $900 billion starting in 2019, and is expected to exceed $1 trillion each year beginning in 2022". 

Completely unrelated, April Edison would be a excellent choice as one as your writers. I have followed her for many years. Her understanding of local, county, state and federal government is excellent.

Lindsay Pace


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