The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office will host members of the BoS this Friday from 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM is a ‘Ride Along’ exercise, see above email, that will allow the members of the board to better understand the duties of our deputies and see firsthand the stress and dangers these men and women encounter every day while protecting the citizens of the county. It is also my fervent hope that the BoS members will reconsider their plans to give the deputies, and all county employees, a 2.5% raise and increase it another 2% for a total of 4.5% pay increase. This would give the deputies, and other county employees, a raise equal to the school board pay increase. We are ranked 14th lowest paid out of 15 law enforcement agencies in this area and some of our employees may still qualify for food stamps. I am not aware of any that do, but I suspect that if some are receiving these benefits they would not let anyone know but for the embarrassment.
I was told by a shift sergeant: “The deputies are very grateful for every penny they receive, but they just can’t understand why some get more pennies than others, especially when these ‘some’ lay their lives on the line every day for members of the board and the citizens of this county.”
The supervisors will start their shift with their ‘partners’ at 3:00PM on May 29, 2015, in the upper parking area of the sheriff’s office…rain or shine!
Below is the email invitation from Sheriff Mike Brown
Honorable Board Members and others:
In reference to the email that I sent to you on the May 12, 2015, attached above; we will accommodate any of you who wish to ‘Ride Along’ next Friday, May 29, 2015, with the start time being 3:00PM until midnight, at the sheriff’s office. You can ride the whole shift or a portion thereof. It is important that you show your support for the men and women of the sheriff’s office and let them know that you are working on raising the percentage extended to them and the other county employees another 2.5%. The deputies lives are on the line 24/7/365… you have seen this scenario unfolded here in Bedford County twice in the last year. Adding to the already volatile situation in Maryland, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Tidewater area of Virginia and other locations, is the official police ‘alert’ that I received yesterday after the shootout in Waco, Texas, as noted below:
“On May 18, 2015, police have issued an Officer Safety Alert after credible information was received that the outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs) involved in yesterday’s deadly shootout, that killed 12 in Waco, TX,, have been ordered to ‘kill anyone in uniform’.” This alert covers the whole of the USA … our deputies, as well as area police departments and the state police, are on high alert. THIS ALERT IS NOT JUST FOR THE STATE OF TEXAS .
Please show our deputies that they are more than an employee ID number…their lives matter and they deserve a wage equivalent to other departments in the area. We are still # 14, on a list of 15 police and sheriffs offices that surround our county. This is a morale ‘buster’! Adding to this dreadful situation your sheriff’s office is facing an employee shortage that is only getting bleaker by the week. I learned yesterday that one of our deputies has accepted an offer from the VPI Police Department, and on the heels of this ‘nauseas’ announcement I was advised in a staff meeting that we are three deputies short now, and have at least six other deputies that are actively searching for employment at other law enforcement agencies. The reason is salary … this sheriff’s office is fast approaching ‘critical mass’ and when that point is reached I will remove all SRO’s from the schools and put them on a shift. I will have no other choice. At least one of the deputies leaving will be glad to meet with a representative of the Board and explain the reason that he is leaving…again, pay! They feel that the board does not appreciate their service and considers other employees more valuable. I am being told, from representatives of our employees, that they are very grateful for every penny they receive but they just can’t understand why some get more pennies than others, especially when these ‘some’ lay their lives on the line every day for you and the citizens of this county.
Ride and see what it’s like and tell me you would do it for what they are paid.