The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department is trying hard to attract law enforcement professionals into joining, and now the minimum starting salary is over $40,000 a year.
According to information provided by the department, the minimum starting salary for someone with no experience is $40,688.
For years, the starting salary in the department remained under the $40,000 threshold. However, the latest pay numbers reflect a current all-out attempt by area law enforcement agencies like the Sheriff’s Department to attract new and experienced officers.
Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers has argued since being elected in 2018 that his officers need higher pay in order for him to keep the positions filled. Recently he told the Board of Commissioners that, in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, when a large number of officers can be out of commission at one time, it’s can be a real strain to keep a sufficient number of officers on hand.
Like former Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes, Rogers has in the past pointed to a steady loss of officers to cities and other counties that have been offering better pay and other perks.
Barnes told the Rhino Times several years ago that one reason it’s so hard to fill law enforcement jobs in recent years is that there’s been a societal shift in the way the public views the officers. Once treated with immense respect as the protectors of society, law enforcement officers nationally have come under widespread criticism and been the objects of ridicule and abuse for many protesters and others.
The Sheriff’s Department isn’t the only one seeking first responders. Both the Greensboro and High Point police departments have been taking steps to increase hiring – and Guilford County Emergency Medical Services recently began a program that fast tracks Emergency Medical Technicians who have no prior experience.
In the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department, those with experience are making more money than those without. Someone with just 2 to 4 years of “relevant certified experience,” for instance, will start at $43,943, while those with 5 to 6 years of relevant experience start at $45,700.
The salary amounts go up all along the experience scale, with someone with 15 or more years of experience now starting at nearly $57,000 a year.
According to recent promotional literature from the Sheriff’s Department, “All well-performing employees are expected to be earning a salary of [at least] $52,731 plus incentives by the end of their 4th year.”
A broad list of incentives makes the job more lucrative as well for some these days.
An associate’s degree will add in a $1,900 salary increase and a bachelor’s degree adds $3,800. A master’s degree in a relevant field can mean a $5,700 increase in salary.
Other perks exist as well. Prior active-duty military service will mean a $380 increase per year– up to a maximum of $3,800.
And, if you’re fluent in Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese or Arabic and take a job with the department, you’ll see a $1,800 annual salary add-on.
The Sheriff’s Department is also offering a quality slate of benefits that include dental and vision insurance, reimbursement for some education costs, paid military leave, and participation in the state’s very generous retirement plan.
Also, entry-level employers are eligible for a “step-up” raise program that can mean pay increases of over 6.5 percent per year in the early years.
Its a shame the County Commissioners don’t do a study to compare with the other County Sheriff’s offices. Guilford County is the 3rd most populated County in the State only behind Mecklenburg and Wake Counties. So Guilford County should have a comparative size Agency and paid in comparison. For the Crime and Violence to be reduced in Guilford County the salary increase is a small start, but now those 90 + vacancies need to be filled. Voters need to go to the polls (Primary May 17th) and vote in new Republican leadership.
The GPD and city council are not “recruiting” new officers, nor are they recruiting seasoned officers. If they were, they’d have recruitment teams all over the country, or at least in the east coast and southern part of the US. The larger metropolitan areas have full-time police recruiters and they travel extensively to colleges, job fairs in major cities, offerings to cover moving costs, a police car they can take home, etc. Do you see that in GBO? Nope!
“For the crime and violence to be reduced in Guilford County the salary increase is a small part”. Really? So like a liberal you believe that the answer to a societal problem is to throw more money at it by paying the bureaucrats more.
I’m a Libertarian, and it’s clear to me that some conservatives are just statists on the Right, as opposed to the Leftists who are statists on the Left.
Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
If you want to live in a free country again (without Bush’s Patriot Act or Biden’s furtive police state “Build Back Better”), please, consider libertarianism, or classic liberalism.
It’s the answer.
Pay them more and they will come. $40K isn’t enough these days folks. Start at $50K and watch what happens! Try it Commissioners.
You are right! These men & women endure public distrust and political meddling. Pay them well, and you’ll get better people. Leave them to their job, and you’ll keep them.
Did all the Sheriff’s employees get a percentage raise that equals this in their pay? Sure hope so.
Check out Greensboro PD pay and lack of benefits (no take home car) and you will see the sheriff’s department is more competitive local area.
Nero fiddled while Rome burned.
Do you or your family work in law enforcement, Deborah?
I don’t know about that, but I enforce the law around my house. That’s what I tell her.
Nope. Pay compression at its finest. You can imagine what that has done for morale.
For $40k annually, you might not get many applicants who can read or write, let alone comprehend and obey the law.
Correctamundo! A high percentage of HS graduate are lacking (completely?) in math and language skills, and much else, too. Proficient, however, in DumbPhone and TV personalities.
Guilford County Sheriff’s Office pay has fallen far behind other counties, although it is the third largest department. The bonuses to new hired officers such as for an associate or bachelor degree and the ability to speak a foreign language go away when officers are promoted. Also, overtime pay is lost above the Lieutenant level. Furthermore, participation in voluntary high risk teams such as SWAT or the Dive team, is no extra pay or overtime. A change in the elected sheriff’s position can result in discretionary loss of job and loss of pension.
The salary system for our law enforcement officers is unfair, out of date and embarrassing. With the high danger, lack of respect, and lagging compensation we are luck for the dedicated officers we have. And of course the proposed starting increases are only for new hires and do not benefit those who are already working.
I agree with everything you have stated. Cities and counties need to start looking at the job as one that requires hazard pay, not just above city of Greensboro minimum wage. You can go do a low level job with no training with the city of Greensboro for $15. Police start at roughly $20.
$40K are you kidding me…? No wonder they can’t find anyone to do the job. I think Walmart greeters are making $35K. Like the saying goes: “you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”.
I guess this is the reason why the actual current Sheriff is a MORON and most of the candidates looking for the job are as well.