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With 69 deputy vacancies, Johnson County to consider sheriff's pay plan next week

Johnson County Board of Commissioners
Posted at 11:15 AM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 12:15:52-04

OLATHE, Kan. — The Johnson County Board of Commissioners will consider the new Sheriff's Office Compensation Plan at their next meeting.

Thursday morning, the board unanimously voted to put the plan on next week's agenda after discussing it in the previous meeting. The initial plan proposed a raise in salary rate for a starting officer, from $49,939 to just over $55,000. Commissioner Maury Thompson said he's confident the board will be able to reach a consensus.

The plan hopes to alleviate issues within the sheriff's office, as Sheriff Calvin Hayden said the department's staffing has hit "emergency levels."

While Thompson believes the issue is vital to the county's success, he said the board simply isn't ready to put something to vote yet.

With 69 vacancies as of Thursday morning, Charlotte O'Hara said a deputy pay raise was long overdue.

"I’m very concerned that this wasn’t part of the budget process for 2023 … it’s been obvious for months that we were heading toward a crisis situation," she said. "We have been slow in responding to this issue."

Chairman Ed Eilert said public safety continues to be every board member's No. 1 concern.