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PitCo deputies get raises; still lower than most in state

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Deputies in the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office are getting raises but their pay is woefully lower than other Colorado cops. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

 

Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo says he did a salary comparison with several comparable law enforcement agencies in the valley and around the state. He did that after some of his deputies started asking why they were some of the lowest paid cops in among their peers.

What DiSalvo found was that Pitkin County was far behind other agencies. For instance, the starting salary for a mid-range deputy with say 5 years experience in his agency is roughly $62,000 a year. The same experience gets an officer in the Aspen Police Department about $71,000.

With the increase, that sheriff’s deputy will now make $67,000. But while DiSalvo is grateful for the additional funds, it’s still difficult to hire qualified people with such low wages, particularly the entry-level starting pay.

“I’m having trouble attracting cops at $21.88 an hour but I’m happy that we got this adjustment … this adjustment is … we’re still behind we’re just not as far behind. So this is a … I think this is a good start. Now we need to keep up,” Disalvo says.

The decision was made Friday by county government administrators to allocate an additional $90,000 to the department for 2016 and the years to follow. The county will cover the pay increases for the remaining months this year as well.

The raises, which apply to most deputies, take effect immediately.

Carolyn Sackariason, Aspen Public Radio news.