Sergeant John Ford has been patrolling Lawrence County roads for 20 years. He’s honored to serve his community. “I love just going out and helping people. I was born and raised in Lawrence County,” he said.
Ford knew doing what he loves would never make him rich, but soon he’ll be earning even less on the job. He and 18 other Lawrence County deputies will lose a $100 a month in pay. “It was nice to have to help with family emergencies and holidays and planning special events and being able to do a little extra if somebody needed some help,” Ford said.
In fact, deputies throughout Missouri who make between between $29,000 and $35,000 a year will see a $1,200 cut from their paychecks annually, if they’re department applied for the grant money through the Deputy Sheriff Salary Supplementation Fund (DSSSF).
The money is collected through fees from deputies serving civil documents; it’s then deposited in the DSSSF, but the funds are dwindling because more of the paperwork is being sent electronically.
The program was started to try to raise salaries for deputies throughout the state who were making less than $28,000 a year.
“The pay scale for many of the deputies in the state of Missouri was quite ridiculous. We had several deputies throughout the state making less than $14,000 a year for doing their job. And what that came to was many of those deputies were receiving public assistance for it,” explained Sheriff Brad DeLay, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies making $28,000 annually or less can still benefit from the grant program, but those earning more will be cutoff in 2017, said DeLay.
Although Sgt. Ford is one of the deputies who will lose the pay bump, he said he’ll keep doing what he loves. “I’ll just maybe have to tighten my belt a little bit more and maybe try to do a little bit more in our budgeting.”
In Christian County, 33 deputies will be affected by the cuts. Greene County will also be affected by the change. The department’s spokesperson said the figure on the number of deputies impacted will be released soon.