Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers has an unusual habit that’s shared by no other department head in the county.

Rogers often communicates with the Guilford County Board of Commissioners by speaking as a “speaker from the floor” at county meetings.  Rogers has easier ways to get his message to the commissioners, but sometimes he wants that message to go out to the public as well – as was the case at the Thursday, June 2 Board of Commissioners meeting, when the sheriff had a very important point he wanted to make.

Speakers were addressing community needs in the coming fiscal 2022-2023 budget, and Rogers had one dominant theme he wanted to get across – Guilford County needs to do whatever it can to attract and hire new detention officers.  Rogers addressed the board after several jail guards had spoken from the floor about jail safety, long hours, low pay and other factors that made the job very difficult and the positions hard to fill.

One problem is guards being lured away by higher pay in other places.

Sheriff’s Department officials also made the same point at a Wednesday, June 8 budget work session when the following data was presented:

  • Alamance County is offering $3,975 more than the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department for detention officer base starting salary.
  • Forsyth County is offering $1,661 more than Guilford County for a deputy’s base starting salary – and $395 more than Guilford County for a detention officer’s base starting salary.
  • Mecklenburg County is shelling out $11,842 more than the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department for both deputy and detention officer base starting salaries – plus a $3,000 signing bonus.
  • Wake County is enticing guards with $3,412 more than Guilford for the base starting salary for deputies.
  • Durham County is offering $2,672 more than Guilford for a deputy base starting salary and is offering $6,000 signing bonuses for both deputies and detention officers.
  • Law enforcement agencies in other counties – including New Hanover County – are in the process of increasing starting base salaries.

In recent years Guilford County has taken many steps to help fill the vacancies – holding job fairs, increasing officer pay, and adding a $4,000 signing bonus – but the county’s two jails remain dramatically understaffed.