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Eaton County sheriff wants to give deputies $10,000 bonuses to retain and attract employees

Board of Commissioners Ways and Means Committee set to vote on request Friday morning
Eaton County Sheriff's Office
Posted at 9:44 PM, Aug 11, 2022

CHARLOTTE, Mich. — The sheriff of Eaton County says he’s got a staffing problem and wants the county to grant him the funding to give his deputies bonuses.

Sheriff Tim Reich thinks offering a $10,000 bonus to current deputies would go a long way toward remedying the staffing shortage.

“I’m losing deputies. I’m already four short deputies on out-county road patrol. I’ve got four retirements coming up. I’m getting zero applications, and I’ve got two other deputies who are looking to leave to go to other agencies because they pay more,” said Reich.

Reich says its been rough over the last few years to keep his agency staffed, and he credits a host of reasons for that but believes money is mostly to blame.

“I want to retain the people I have rather than them leaving for other departments, and I also need the $10,000 to recruit people. No one wants to apply because if they get hired somewhere else, they get paid more,” said Reich.

The sheriff's ask equates to a little over $2 million, which he’s proposing could be paid out from the American Rescue Plan funds for Eaton County.

The Eaton County Board of Commissioners chair, Jeremy Whittum, says the bonus program is a good way to keep deputies on the job.

“Between today and close of business of 2024, I know that we will have out of our deputies. Nineteen of our deputies will be retired. That’s almost half. They've obtained 25 years of service,” said Whittum.

Sheriff Reich says he has about 100 deputies in service now, but he expects to lose several by the end of the year.

It’s a situation that will put more strain on an already taxed rotation.

The Eaton County Board of Commissioners Ways and Means Committee is due to vote on the sheriff’s request Friday morning.

If the measure is approved, it will move to the full Board of Commissioners for a vote next Wednesday.

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Travis Hicks

3:45 PM, May 23, 2022

Charlotte & Eaton Rapids

Neighborhood Reporter

Travis Hicks

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