SCOTLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WBTW) — Scotland County Sheriff Ralph Kersey gave an impassioned speech and asked for pay raises for his deputies and detention officers at Monday’s Scotland County Board of Commissioners meeting.
Kersey said the average salary for sheriff’s offices in North Carolina is $40,810. He said pay for detention officers starts at $29,208 for the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office. He also pointed out the starting pay for other sheriff’s offices in North Carolina being between $32,000 and $34,000.
“I’ve been sheriff for seven years and each year, at budget time, we submit the same paperwork…and not a lot of asking going on,” Kersey said.
“I’m not here tonight for myself. I’m not here to talk about a salary for myself. I’m perfectly fine. I took one salary reduction in 2015 and I’m fine but I do care about my family. I’ve got sons and I’ve got daughters,” he said as he pointed to some of the deputies in attendance. “I call them my family. It’s important to me that they’re taken care of. Sometimes, I feel like we’re the red-headed stepchild.”
Kersey acknowledged the sheriff’s office and detention officers have gotten a 5% pay raise this year while the city got an 8% raise.
Kersey said 19 employees have left since January 1, 2019. He said a few of them have left for other reason, but 14 of them left for more pay.
“I need a pay raise for these out there,” he said. My first line — my first line supervisors — those out there risking their life every single night and back there in that jail keeping them safe when they may get hurt themselves.”
Kersey spoke for about 30 minutes.