FLORENCE, Ala. - As fiscal years get ready to close for local governments, budget talks are beginning to take place for 2017. In Lauderdale County, Sheriff Rick Singleton wants to get his requests out to the public before commissioners start talking about them.
“That’s why I ran for this job, to make a difference in this department,” stated Singleton. “This department has been neglected for years and years and years.”
During his first 18 months in office, Sheriff Singleton restructured the office and acquired some much-needed vehicles for patrol. He said his next task is to get starting salaries for corrections deputies and patrol deputies increased.
“The thing about the corrections deputy is, the environment they have to work in, I challenge any commissioner to spend a shift down there working with those guys to see what they have to put up with,” Singleton explained.
At just over $22,000, Singleton said some of his corrections deputies qualify for food stamps. He added the county commission should be embarrassed.
Also in his proposed budget, Singleton is requesting to up the starting wage for patrol deputies to be more competitive with other law enforcement agencies in the area.
“If we have an applicant, a potential applicant that has a college degree, and especially one that is experienced and post certified, you are talking about a $8,000 difference in starting pay.”
Singleton said it’s time to show the men and women who protect the county that they are appreciated for putting their lives on the line, day in and day out.
The Lauderdale County Commission is slated to begin deliberations on the fiscal year 2017 budget next week.
Sheriff Singleton said his proposed increases can be achieved using current monies the county already has in hand.