Elkhart County Sheriff's Department requests higher salaries

The Elkhart County Council meeting agenda early Saturday morning included an increase in pay for officers with the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department. A decision wasn't made Saturday.

The council has to wait for the legislature to decide on the budget before they can make any financial commitments.

Council president John Letherman says he wants to do everything he can to help the department out.

Currently the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department's starting salary is about $30,000. This is $10,000 less than the national average of $43,000.

It is also $17,000 less than Mishawaka, which starts officers at $47,000.

In St. Joseph County, officers start off at $44,000.

The Elkhart County Sheriff's department oversees the second largest county population in Michiana.

Letherman also explained that part of the problem with the low salaries is the high turn over rate. That means the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department trains officers but because they can make more money somewhere else, they eventually leave.

Letherman is hoping to get the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department's salaries closer to the national average.

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