MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. - Morgan County Sheriff Ron Puckett wants higher pay for his deputies and corrections officers.
"It's all about being able to put groceries on the table at home," he explained. "Meeting your family's needs and we want to be able to do that as the county."
Right now, starting pay for Morgan County Deputies is $15.68/hour.
Corrections officers start at $11.56/hour.
"It's a very difficult job to work in the jail," Puckett added. "Morgan County is no different than any other county. Our pay is not great, you know when you start off less than 12 dollars, that's difficult."
Both rates are significantly less than the average pay for a Class A county sheriff's office employee.
According to the 2016 Alabama County Wage and Salary Survey, Class A jailers average $15/hour and deputies average $19/ hour.
"Trying to make sure that we pay them well, to me, is a priority," said Puckett. "Especially when other agencies, other sheriff's departments pay their deputies well."
Puckett said 75 percent of jail staff have been employed for less than 2 years.
He said if the pay hike is approved by the county commission, some employees could be looking at a slight increase.
"It's probably going to be about a dollar an hour raise for the deputies," he added. "Which in a year, you're looking at probably $2,000 dollars."
Puckett said it's not just a plus for employees, it will also be a bonus for the department as a whole.