(11-23-19) Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey gave pay raises on November 17th of varying percentages in hopes of keeping employees from leaving for high paying area jobs. Mercer County elected officials are allowed to give  raises,  but can’t spend over the sum appropriated annually by commissioners.

Mercer County’s top wages vs. area Sheriff offices-
Before raises –
  • $5.58 less per hour than Auglaize County
  • $3.58 less per hour than Darke County
  • $5.55 less than Shelby County
After  recent raises –
  • $3.89 less per hour than Auglaize County
  • $1.89 less per hour than Darke County
  • $3.86 less per hour than Shelby County

The cause for concern…this past year the sheriff’s office lost six total deputies, one to retirement and five left for higher priced positions, those departures allowed for extra money in the payroll and the recent raises.

A recent wage study conducted by an outside firm, will lead the Sheriff to ask commissioners for pay raises as high as $1.80 per hour each of the next three years. Pay raises wouldrange from 2.91% to 11.55% for deputies, correction officers, sergeants, dispatchers, nurses, cooks, custodians and IT personnel. The hope of the increases is to be more competitive with other law enforcement agencies in the area.

There will be a cost to pay for the raises, four vehicles, at a cost of $170,000, from the sheriff’s proposed 2020 budget would be deleted to help secure the raises.