Appomattox County sheriff seeks higher pay for deputies

Published: Mar. 2, 2020 at 5:57 PM EST
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Deputy Samuel Campbell of the Appomattox County Sheriff's Office patrols an area he knows well.

"It's where I grew up," said Campbell, an Appomattox County native who's worked at the sheriff's office since 2018. "I know most of the people in the county. Every shift you deal with at least one person you know."

That familiarity is valuable to Campbell's boss, Appomattox County Sheriff Donald Simpson.

"These deputies go out and know the people they serve," said Simpson. "The people know them."

Simpson wants to keep deputies like Campbell around, but he says retention is difficult when surrounding localities offer higher salaries.

Currently, Appomattox County has one of the lowest starting salaries of any law enforcement agency in the Lynchburg area at $34,118.

Bedford County deputies have a slightly higher starting salary at $34,641. Campbell County pays $36,725 and Nelson County pays $37,000. The Lynchburg Police Department announced Monday that its pay for new recruits would start at $40,019.

"It certainly is a hindrance to us hiring people when they can live here, live somewhere else, and earn quite a bit more," Simpson told WDBJ7 Monday.

Simpson wants to increase the starting salary for deputies to around $37,000 per year. He also wants to offer a 10 percent raise to all other deputies making less than $40,000 per-year.

"I felt like that an increase in the starting salaries and an increase in those lowest deputy's salaries would help with office morale," Simpson said. "It would help with retention."

Campbell, who's one of the deputies that would get a raise under Simpson's plan, said he'd appreciate the higher pay - even though money is not a determining factor for him.

"Most people that I talk to and that I know who are in this job will never say they are in this for the money," said Campbell. "You have to do it because you love it."

Appomattox County's board of supervisors will consider Simpson's request as part of their upcoming budget process.

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