Greene County Sheriff says his employees deserve more money

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

Paragould, AR (KAIT) -  "I think it's in any business you have a person that is educated and has the degrees and things like that, they're always looking for something else," said Dan Langston.

Greene County Sheriff Dan Langston says that happens all too often at the Greene County Sheriff's Department.  He says he loses too many deputies to other departments and their larger salaries.  So he's taking his case to the Greene County Quorum Court's Finance Committee.

"I'm trying to get the salaries of my county officers to the base salaries of the city officers," said Langston.

Langston says most of the time his deputies are familiar with the area, the courts, and  the inner workings of the county and city, making them that much more attractive to other departments--namely, he says, Paragould.

"It's more or less hunting over a baited hole.   They've got incentives that we don't have here.   Not only pay incentives, but also educational incentives," said Langston.

According to numbers given to Region 8 News by Sheriff Dan Langston, the starting salary for a deput, for example, is just over 27 thousand dollars a year.  The 2009 base salary for a city officer is nearly 2,500 dollars more.

"We put them in the hat so to speak and we go through everyone of them.   We'll see what the requests are and how much it's going to cost," said Dollars.

For Greene County Judge Jesse Dollars, he says salaries might contribute some to deputies leaving, but he doesn't believe it's the only factor.

"People are going to leave, move and go here and there regardless of what you pay.   It's a percentage of several different things that are causing the problem," said Dollars.

For Sheriff Dan Langston, he says he trains a lot of good officers, and he wants to keep them.  His goal is to be able to make the ones he does have want to stay.

"They say if you don't like it, then get out.   Well, that's not a very good attitude to take whenever you have somebody putting their life on the line everyday for the community out here," said Langston.

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