County Council addresses changing Detention Center Pay Structure

Laurens County Council has begun the process of changing the pay structure for employees of the County’s Detention Center. Following review of turnover at the Johnson Detention Center in committee, Council Tuesday evening gave 1st reading to an ordinance to increase pay for all detention center staff except the Director’s position, bringing the pay for a Detention Center Officer equal to that of someone with the same rank in the rest of the Sheriff’s Office.

  Committee member Keith Tollison noted the cost of the need for always training so many new officers with the payroll as one reason for equalizing pay for detention center personnel. He also noted that it, too, is dangerous work.

   Cost for equalizing pay for the 50 plus employees at the JohnsonDetentionCenter is estimated at some $276,000 per year, based on current costs of benefits such as insurance. If the measure receives 2nd and 3rd readings at upcoming meetings, it could be put into effect by December 1st. Pro-rated cost for the rest of this fiscal year is projected at $184,000.

  County Administrator Ernie Segars told WLBG that an entry level correctional officer’s pay will be increased from $11.24 per hour to $13.07. 

  The vote for Equalizing Pay for the County Detention Center Staff was 5 to 2, with Diane Anderson and Ed McDaniel casting the ‘no’ votes.