The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

February 26, 2014

Montour County deputy sheriffs get pay bump

DANVILLE — The Montour County Salary Board increased the starting salary for deputy sheriffs which hadn’t increased in 12 years.

The board also created the position of chief deputy designee to help with the increasing workload of the chief deputy sheriff.

“We are going to take care of some law enforcement inequities,” Commissioners’ Chairman Trevor Finn said during Tuesday night’s meeting. The commissioners make up the board along with other elected officials.

The board also increased the salary for prison Lt. Scott Davis who has been running the jail in the absence of Warden Jerry Cutchall after undergoing recent shoulder surgery. “We looked at his salary and realized he was making significantly less than the people he was supervising,” Finn said of Davis. “We’d like to correct that,” he said.

With a correctional officer making $18.29 per hour for a 40-hour week, Davis was approved for 5 percent more or an annual salary of $39,945.

When the commissioners looked at the starting salary for an uncertified part-time deputy sheriff, it was in line with a jail cook, Finn said.

Finn said Sheriff Ray Gerringer proposed a very modest increase in pay for deputy sheriffs. With the increase, their pay is less than deputy sheriffs in Columbia, Northumberland, Union and Snyder counties, Gerringer said.

The board increased the rate for a new part-time uncertified deputy sheriff from $10 per hour to $11 per hour, for a new part-time certified deputy sheriff from $12 per hour to $13.20 per hour and for a new certified full-time deputy sheriff from $14 per hour to $14.52 per hour.

Affected by the new rate, effective with the next payroll, are Anthony Fritz, who will be paid $13.20 an hour, and Gerald Zeidler and Amanda St. Clair each earning $11 per hour.

Ryan King will serve as chief deputy designee at a pay rate increase from $19.57 per hour to $22 per hour, effective with the next payroll.

Gerringer said King assists Chief Deputy Sheriff Clair Heath and acts as supervisor when Heath is absent.

The sheriff said the chief deputy designee position has been listed as a position in the sheriff’s office since 2004 but never used.

King has been handling garnishments which are freezing of bank accounts and personal property executions and has taken over writing of grants. His other work includes assisting and preparing policies and procedures on code of conduct, prisoner transport, use of restraining devices, firearms and use of force, courthouse security, evidence policy and procedures, domestic violence and protection from abuse, dissemination of protective information and maintaining training and personal files.

Gerringer said King was being paid less than other staff members and Ryan had more seniority than they did.

With the salary increases, the sheriff said he didn’t foresee his office going over its budget. The past four or five years, his office has been under-budget.

Last month, his office turned over nearly $9,000 to the county with much of that from 2 percent from the sale of The Days Inn, he said. A sheriff’s sale was planned but the inn was sold to another party the day before the sale, Gerringer said. Under the rules of civil procedure, the sheriff’s office collected 2 percent of what the inn sold for which amounted to $8,100.

Gerringer pointed out training of deputy sheriffs doesn’t cost the county anything. Schooling, wages, housing, meals and mileage are taken care of by fees received from serving legal papers. Ten dollars of every civil and criminal paper served goes to the state treasury into a training budget. “It’s a plus for the 67 counties in Pennsylvania,” he said.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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