Citing a 10 percent attrition rate, sheriff’s office personnel asked Parker County commissioners — in a budget session Monday — for $550,000 to $560,000 to bring the salaries of licensed peace officers up to those in surrounding counties and cities, including increasing the salary for recruits from $34,508 to $40,785.
They also asked the county to adopt a salary structure, to be reviewed annually, so officers could plan for the future.
“Out of 12 agencies surveyed, we’re number 11 in certified peace officers,” Fowler said, referring to an in-house survey of sheriff’s offices that compared the salaries of Parker County peace officers with those in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Grayson, Kaufman, Palo Pinto, Tarrant, Rockwall and Wise counties.
The survey, presented to the court by Capt. Mike Morgan, showed Parker County to be lower than average in 19 different positions, with deficits ranging from $2,012 less for a communications officer to $12,205 less for a high-level chief deputy.
The average annual salary of an entry level Parker County deputy sheriff is $36,142, compared with $42,641, the average salary of deputies in the surveyed counties, according to the study. The salaries range from a high of $51,827 in Rockwall County to a low of $33,573 in Johnson County, the only county shown as lower than Parker County. Palo Pinto County showed an average current salary of $42,640.
An entry-level corporal/investigator employed by Parker County draws a salary of $42,582, compared to an average salary of $46,294 for other counties, the study shows, a difference of $3,712. An entry-level sergeant is paid $47,741 in Parker County, but receives an average salary of $51,969 in other counties, a $4,228 difference.
Another in-house survey used data from the Texas Municipal League to compare county salaries with those paid by Metroplex police departments. The survey showed Parker County officers to be lower than average for seven different positions, with shortfalls ranging from $8,546 less for a probationary deputy to $32,639 less for a chief deputy.