Pulaski County Sheriff Jeff Richwine is seeking pay raises for some of his employees. During last week’s county council meeting, he asked if part-time dispatcher Susan Hemphill could be bumped up to a higher pay level. “She was a full-time dispatcher, left, and then came back as a part-time person,” Richwine explained. “And we wanted to move her up to the nine-year level because she had – I don’t know how many years she had full-time, but it’s been quite a while.”
Council member Linda Powers noted that under the county’s salary matrix, anyone who leaves a full-time position, regardless of the reason, and then comes back part-time, starts as a new employee. But council member Mike Tiede pointed out that having an experienced dispatcher come back probably ends up saving the Sheriff’s Department money.
The county council did not act on that request last week, but council members did approve a one-dollar-per hour pay increase for Jobi Tabler, who handles the county’s sex offender registry. Richwine said that money will come out of the fees that sex offenders have to pay. “The sex offenders pay so much,” he explained. “They have to register, and then they come in every month and talk to her. She does a very good job, as far as keeping her thumb on them. And she just did a very good job of – not being asked to do it, just did it – of going through Facebook and found where six of them, I believe, had unregistered Facebook pages.”
Going forward, Richwine plans to put together a proposal to give several of his employees a raise with revenues from housing federal inmates at the Pulaski County Jail. “I really think the people who work at the Sheriff’s Office should get some of that federal money that runs right into the General Fund,” he said. “You guys know more than me whether you can afford to do that or not, but I’m going to sure present it to you to look at because it’s a lot easier job for somebody over there, when they’re sitting with 30 or 40 people in that jail than when they’re sitting with 100. I think it’s everybody in the place. The dispatchers do more work. Deputies get called in to help.”
He noted that the staff who transport the federal inmates are also required to have extra training.