In Coryell County, sheriff deputies make a little over $31,000 a year. Jailers and dispatchers make even less.
"We don't get in this business to get rich, we get in this business because it's a calling," Coryell County Sheriff Scott Williams said.
But, at the end of the day, bills have to be paid.
Sheriff Williams said in order for Coryell County to be competitive with other counties in the state, base salaries need to be raised by at least $10,000.
"We legally couldn't give him that much money without taking a vote to the citizens, and I don't know any citizen that's going to vote for higher taxes," Coryell County Commissioner Ray Ashby said.
But, the commissioner's court does want to help.
"We're bulging at the brinks of our budgets, and we're trying to get him all that we can get him," Ashby said.
According to Sheriff Williams, five sworn deputies have already left.
"They protect our citizens, they protect me, you, everybody. We got to pay those guys. We can't lose them," Ashby said.
Sheriff Williams said it's difficult to keep employees when their pay isn't competitive.
"They see that the grass is greener on the other side and they get a significant pay raise going somewhere else with all the training and experience that I've given them," Sheriff Williams said.
Lack of funds makes hiring difficult.
"The pool that I have to draw from to hire jailers, dispatchers and deputies is getting quite shallow and very mossy. And by saying that, I don't want to hire someone else's problem. I don't want to hire somebody that may become a civil liability. So, I would like to promote and move on and train the folks that I know are going to be an asset to Coryell County," Sheriff Williams said.
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