Sheriff pay raise?

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 13, 2014

House Bill 1409, which would raise sheriff’s salaries, has passed both the Mississippi House of Representatives and Senate and will now go to Gov. Phil Bryant for approval.

A sheriff’s salary is determined by a county’s population and currently ranges from $55,000 a year to $90,000 a year.

With the proposed pay raise, Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison could see his salary increase from $88,000 to $90,000 a year, due to the county’s population being more than 45,000, but less than 100,000. The 2012 census estimated the Pearl River County population was 55,000.

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County Administrator Adrian Lumpkin said, before Allison was elected sheriff, the Board of Supervisors approved a $10,000 increase in the sheriff’s salary base pay. This was possible because the state law allows sheriffs in counties with jails that hold state inmates to receive an increase if approved by the board of supervisors.

The current base pay for sheriffs for counties with a population between 45,000 and 100,000 is $75,000, Lumpkin said.

The bill proposes sheriffs in counties with populations fewer than 15,000 make $75,000, an increase from the current amount of $55,000. Sheriffs in counties with a population between 34,000 and 45,000 would make $85,000 and those in counties with a population more than 100,000 would make $99,000.

Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said Allison went to Jackson to discuss the bill with the legislature earlier this year.

Proponents of the bill argue the salary increase would be possible because of a $10 increase in process-serving fees that has already been passed.

Lumpkin said if the salary increase was only $2,000, he didn’t see why it would be a problem financially for the board and county.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.