February 23, 2024

Adams County Sheriff Lobbying For Bill To Increase Officers’ Pay

Morgan Howard

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten is trying to get a bill passed that would provide certified law enforcement officers a boost in pay.

Sheriff Patten is lobbying for the passage of the bill before the State Legislature.

The bill is called House Bill 745 and it was introduced by State Rep. Jeffery Harness of District 85. The bill would give officers who have at least one year on the job with an extra $600 a month. This would be paid for by the state.

The bill would include Jefferson County and Claiborne County.

According to Sheriff Patten, starting pay for an Adams County deputy is $16.01 an hour which is at or below the poverty level.

Sheriff Patten stated,

“Mississippi ranks dead last when it comes to law enforcement officer pay in this country. The state is sitting on a $500 million surplus. Using some of it to boost the pay of law enforcement officers would help with retention and recruitment of officers, which is a huge problem now.”

He also said,

“All of the officers around here make at least two more dollars per hour than our sheriff’s deputies do. Natchez Police make way more money than officers who do not want to leave their community and the state, but they do not have any options when you look at what they are paying officers in Louisiana and in Texas.”

Sheriff Patten talked about how officers have to deal with terrible situations and then still must work two or three jobs to make ends meet. He mentioned that oftentimes, officers are sleep-deprived from not getting enough rest since they have to work extra hours and jobs. Officers also see an average of 84 times more crises than other individuals.

Patten said that House Bill 745 is in front of members of the Appropriations Committee A and B. They will decide if the bill moves forward.

Sheriff Patten said that members of the community should call each appropriation committee and urge them to support the bill.

Members of Appropriations Committee A:

Chairman John Read, Vice Chairman Angela Cockerham, members Brent Anderson, William Tracy Arnold, Manly Barton, Richard Bennett, C. Scott Bounds, Randy P. Boyd, Bryant W. Clark, Sam Creekmore IV, Becky Currie, Clay Deweese, Casey Eure, John G. Faulkner, Jeff Hale, John W. Hines Sr., Joey Hood, Lataisha Jackson, Vince Mangold, Steve Massengill, Missy McGee, Jay McKnight, Sam C. Mims, V. Karl Oliver, Orlando Paden, Bill Pigott, Rob Roberson, Randy Rushing, Donnie Scoggin, Omeria Scott, Jerry R. Turner, Percy W. Watson and Charles Young Jr.
Members of Appropriations Committee B:
Chairman C. Scott Bounds, members Brent Anderson, Bryant W. Clark, Casey Eure, Jeff Hale, Lataisha Jackson, Orland Paden, Bill Pigott and John Read.


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