COLUMBIA, S.C. — Richland County Council is looking to increase pay for detention officers at the Richland County jail. The plan is to freeze unfilled positions and use that money saved for the pay boost.
The goal is to offer more competitive salaries and retain employees.
The Detention Center Ad Hoc Committee of the Richland County Council has recommended to the full County Council an increase in the starting salary range for detention officers at the county jail.
Currently, the starting rate is $32,210. The committee want detention officers with less than a year of employment in a correctional facility to have a starting pay of $34,000. Those with experience would start at $36,500.
Richland County Administrator Leonardo Brown says, "We're hoping to maintain our seasoned employees at the detention center and we're also hoping to attract people to work in the correctional environment."
Brown says the plan, "was designed to institute some opportunities to get an increase in pay, which may support that retention effort and get new recruits into the facility."
Brown says the county believes that by freezing unfilled positions and raising wages, they can get their staffing up to 214 officers. That's less than the 264 they'd have at full staffing, but they think they can be effective at that level.
"We had a number of vacancies which we believe will not be filled in the current year, so we use current funding to address those increases."
The recommendation is expected to be on the agenda at the next Richland County Council meeting.