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Home » Wayne County » Sheriff Milby donates salary in solidarity with deputies: Contract negotiations struggle in Wayne County

Sheriff Milby donates salary in solidarity with deputies: Contract negotiations struggle in Wayne County

  • / Updated:
  • Rebecca Swift 

Several members of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office spoke at a packed County Board of Supervisors Meeting and Public Hearing in Lyons Tuesday night.

“Last night’s meeting was a public hearing to give the opportunity to the public to speak in matters of the passing of the tentative budget of 2023,” Sheriff Robert Milby explained. “And to talk about the local law that providers for changes in certain county officer’s salaries.”

The Sheriff said he normally attends County Board meetings, but this was particularly important because there was a lot of support from the public displayed for his Deputy Sheriffs.

“It’s been no secret we’ve been working short on road patrol for the majority of the year,” Sheriff Milby said. “At one point we were down to half or just a little less than half of our allotted road patrol, so as a result of that we had to go to 12-hour shifts. Everybody was getting beat up pretty hard with the overtime so in order to protect both the public and our deputies well being, we had to go to 12-hour shifts. Because they were at a point where they were working more than 12-hour shifts. And with some of the incidents police officers handle these days, you just can’t work exhausted. Working too many hours results in tragedy.” 

The Sheriff said he was there to support his deputies. He knew there would commentary relative to the officers who are now working without a contract. “They’re actually at an impasse right now, but due to non-disclosure agreements I can’t talk about the particulars about that, but I can be there to support them as comments are being made to the public,” Sheriff Milby added.

“I took the opportunity to speak, and let the public know that I was there to support the officers,” Sheriff Milby explained. “And while my name does appear on the list of certain County Officers to receive a 2% raise at the beginning of next year, I can’t in good conscience take that. While that’s already been registered with he state, any money I will receive next year above and beyond my salary as it is currently, I’ll donate to a local charity.”

The Sheriff said he believes his deputies are underpaid. “I’m very confident and hopeful that in the coming weeks everyone’s going to get back to the table, the situation is going to be resolved, and we’re gonna get back to the things we need to focus on which is the safety and security of Wayne County.”

Others spoke at the meeting, including concerned deputies and sergeants.

“We’re not doing good,” Sergeant Laura Elsbree said. “Everybody is short-staffed. Recruitment is down. Retention is down. I think the main reason is we can’t compete with other agencies salaries. Our deputies are severely underpaid.” reached out to the Wayne County Board of Supervisors but no one was made available for an interview.